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AIBU to ask for help about dobbing in my granddad...

(30 Posts)
wyldchyld Sun 09-Mar-14 17:53:08

My grandfather is now 80 and still driving. He is a truly horrific driver, and seems to be completely terrified driving. I remember him driving me to school six or seven years ago and enduring a terrifying, white knuckle ride - on the M1, he refused to go above 40 miles an hour in rush hour and we nearly missed the exit because he refused to change lanes for it. Since then, he's only got worse. Last year, driving home from my parents at Christmas, he ended up 50 miles in the other direction - he claims he was ill... I claim it was the whole bottle of red wine.

He is also becoming very reckless in his old age - he thinks it's perfectly acceptable to drink a whole bottle of red wine or several pints with dinner, then drive home. I've challenged him on this before - he completely ignores me and says he's fine. My grandmother doesn't drive and he's absolutely convinced he'd a perfectly good driver. The rest of the same generation in the family find it hilarious about his drink driving and he won't listen to my parents.

He also keeps developing numerous medical issues and seems constantly to be on antibiotics or medication which I'm sure isn't helping. But even without, I would refuse to get in a car with him. We have talked about needing to get a minibus for him and the family to take him to our wedding as he will drink all day then drive home and I genuinely have visions of him totalling the car and killing people on the way home.

Is there anything we can do?! He simply will not listen and completely pooh-poohs any suggestions he should drink less / not drive. It's come to the point where my dad is trying to convince them to let him collect them prior to family engagements because we all know about the driving / drinking issues. He still doesn't listen...

ginmakesitallok Sun 09-Mar-14 17:56:53

Next time you see him getting in the car drunk phone the police. It's only a matter of time until he kills someone, your family won't find that funny.

brokenhearted55a Sun 09-Mar-14 17:57:53

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

BrownSauceSandwich Sun 09-Mar-14 18:00:09

The DVLA allow for people to report somebody they believe unfit to drive:

Do everybody a favour and report him. It may be that he's medically capable, and he's bound to lie about the drink driving, but I think this is the obvious first port of call. With a bit of luck, they'll revoke his license, and you won't have to worry about shopping him to the police.

BrianTheMole Sun 09-Mar-14 18:00:17

I'd tell his gp. But if he's going to get in a car and drive i'd also call the police.

BrianTheMole Sun 09-Mar-14 18:00:33

*drink and drive

fluffyraggies Sun 09-Mar-14 18:00:38

Dont you have to re-test at 70, and every 3 years thereafter?

If so how is he passing his tests? Is his license invalid?

BrianTheMole Sun 09-Mar-14 18:01:32

You don't sit a new test every 3 years. Presume you have to fill in a medical though.

fluffyraggies Sun 09-Mar-14 18:04:55


Theres some physical checks though, surely? A person could 'fudge' a simple form fill in.

elfycat Sun 09-Mar-14 18:06:13

A quick 999 call as he's getting in the car. I called from a pub once (after offering the man a lift home) and the police car passed me within 3 minutes, blue lights on, heading in the direction I'd reported the car going.

If you've discussed this with him previously I would consider that enough warning for you to report him. Before he kills himself and another car-load of people for good measure.

Shelly32 Sun 09-Mar-14 18:06:17

I wouldn't want my children or anyone else's killed by a drink driver , regardless of age. If he doesn't understand that what he's doing is reckless and potentially fatal then the police need to know. He may be your grandad but it's better off he ends up with a license ban rather than a murder sentence.

EdithWeston Sun 09-Mar-14 18:09:59

The worrying thing is his attitude to drink driving. Yes. If you know he's going on the road drunk, report it (and hopefully he'll be stopped and receive a ban).

If you are aware he has any of the medical conditions which lead to a suspension or removal of a licence, then report to DVLA (infections which need ABs aren't disqualifying, but you say he takes a number of other medications, so it might be worth a check).

Stockhausen Sun 09-Mar-14 18:11:07

"He may be your grandad but it's better off he ends up with a license ban rather than a murder sentence"

Exactly this thanks

fifi669 Sun 09-Mar-14 18:12:51

Try and sort it through non police routes first like the DVLA. If he can't afford a fine etc. if that doesn't work then really you need to tell the police. Once is bad enough but it's a habit he's got into that could cost the lives of himself or others.

Adeleh Sun 09-Mar-14 18:14:17

Agree with the posters who'd rather see him banned than with a long jail sentence. Killing while drink-driving could see him get 15 years and frankly we'd all be better off if he was off the roads.

Sarsaparillajones Sun 09-Mar-14 18:19:48

There are two issues here. Firstly is he still, at 80, a capable and safe driver. Age UK have a really good leaflet called in the driving seat which goes through everything to do with staying driving /stopping driving. If you google it you should find it ok. My experience is that older drivers don't tend to listen to their family but will listen to someone independent like a GP or motability driving assessor.

The second issue is the one that worries me, the drinking. And frankly here I think you a) refuse to get in a car he is driving or let any children etc get in, and b) I'd consider dobbing in to police but be aware of the family fallout this could cause. But at the end of the day he isn't safe and he may well cause an accident that harms someone else. Maybe talk to the police on the non emergency number for advice ?

BrownSauceSandwich Sun 09-Mar-14 18:43:18

Agree with PP... If you have to report him to the police, it may cause a fallout, but you have to weigh that up against the possibility of a fatal accident that could be prevented. I know which I'd rather have on my conscience.

wyldchyld Sun 09-Mar-14 18:51:23

Thanks guys. I love him very much but I agree with you all - I'd rather be "the bad granddaughter" than live with the knowledge that he'd killed someone because we hadn't done anything.

I'm gonna try and have a chat with my dad and see if we can talk to him. I'd rather do this as a family but it's helpful to know about the DVLA links if he doesn't listen, and as well with the drink driving.

Families - who'd have them, huh?!

Glasshammer Sun 09-Mar-14 19:01:01

Tell him you love him and because of that the next time he gets into a car over the limit, you will call the police. Then follow through.

specialsubject Sun 09-Mar-14 19:03:29

I'm afraid if he drinks and drives there is no way that he is a responsible driver. That would apply whether he was 18 or 81.

please try all approaches, but do it quickly. There WILL be a crash if he doesn't stop.

BoneyBackJefferson Sun 09-Mar-14 19:03:51

I used to live in a town (for not very long) where a very nice old lady (80+) drove an imported Cadillac convertible, the problem was that she was awful, driving up the pavements, through lights, drifting across the road etc.

I reported her as she very nearly killed a large group of school children waiting for the bus.

But it seemed that the town was very happy for her to be on the road.

Viviennemary Sun 09-Mar-14 19:05:34

You won't want to report him but you have to. If he has an accident and somebody is hurt you will be sorry you didn't say anything. I wouldn't give him a warning first especially if you have discussed it with him before.

Perfectlypurple Sun 09-Mar-14 19:10:01

At 70 you just have to sign a form every 3 years to say you are fit to drive. You don't need medical evidence.

You could report your concerns about his age and ability to drive to the police. They can contact DVLA if they agree with you. The DVLA can then follow it up or go straight to the DVLA.

QwertyBird Sun 09-Mar-14 19:24:14

I wouldn't tell him anything, you already tried that. Do you know a policeman/woman who could have a word? If not, then you need to think about reporting him. He won't know who has done it. A ban and a fine is better than what could happen.

nennypops Sun 09-Mar-14 19:27:26

Have you tried telling him that you will report him next time he drink drives?

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