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AIBU to drop a friend for driving over the limit with MY child in the car?

(37 Posts)
RoseGarden123 Thu 07-Feb-13 19:29:30

Attended a family function at the weekend. I went over early to help set up and family friends brought my DH and DS over later. Had a lovely time and during the event I saw that friends who were driving each had a very small glass of wine but nothing that overly concerned me and the event was 6 hours long and this was at the start. The driver even commented he was just having a small one as part of a toast as he was driving.
They left at end giving DH and DS a lift home whilst I stayed behind to help clean up. During chatting in the kitchen area it came to light this friend had come out back to the kitchen on 4 or 5 occassions and downed either a large glass of wine or a spirit, apparently telling the catering staff 'not to tell the wife'. From what i could work out he had at least 2 large glasses of wine, a glass of champague and 2 glasses of brandy, and all towards the end of the evening. I don't doubt this as so many people saw him but they all assumed his wife must be driving.
Obviously my 2 year old DS will never, ever travel with these people again and I raised it with my DH. But I am still fuming and want to challenge him over it, though I know it risks the friendship. However my view is he has completely broken my trust by taking this risk with my son and that is unforgivable. Am I overreacting?

manicbmc Thu 07-Feb-13 19:31:21

I would risk the friendship.

He risked their lives.

RoseGarden123 Thu 07-Feb-13 19:31:37

P.S. Have to say neither I or DH thought noticed he was drunk and he does tend to be quite a heavy drinker so seems to 'handle' quite a lot. If we had neither DH or DS would have gotten in the car. And I am equally annoyed he put DH at risk!!!

specialsubject Thu 07-Feb-13 19:32:05

no. He risked other road users as well as your husband and son, and it was clearly deliberate.

He will do it again, and next time he may kill.

ComposHat Thu 07-Feb-13 19:34:15

I really can't see the point now that the horse has bolted, but I think YANBU to prevent your child from being driven by this arsehole man again.

WilsonFrickett Thu 07-Feb-13 19:36:02

If you challenge him he will ignore it. Far better to wait till the next family function and then call the police as he leaves in his car. However, I appreciate that's risking other peoples' safety in the mean time.

What I do know is you are not overreacting at all.

80sMum Thu 07-Feb-13 19:36:22

I don't think people should drink alcohol at all if they know they're going to be driving later the same day. Your friend behaved very irresponsibly and, from what you say, this is habitual behaviour. So no, YANBU.

ShhHesAsleep Thu 07-Feb-13 19:36:31


That's awful, and unnecessary of him to commit to the driving if he wasn't happy staying sober. It sounds premeditated and sneaky. He didn't change his mind, decide to drink on the day, and then give you the option of making alternate arrangements for your family.

I'd talk to his wife about the potential alcohol problem and let him know his behaviour was unaceptable. I'd call the police too if it'd do any good but it's too late now I suppose.

badtemperedaldbitch Thu 07-Feb-13 19:40:31

The fact that he drank in secret scares me. I'd not hesitate to report anyone drunk driving. Why would you risk it?

The man is obviously a knob. You should tell him you know and that you won't let it happen again

slhilly Thu 07-Feb-13 19:40:39

Strikes me the best way to channel your energy is into thinking about what you can do that is most likely to get him to not drink and drive in the future. What sticks and carrots can you use that will work best with him

ISeeSmallPeople Thu 07-Feb-13 19:43:21

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

rainrainandmorerain Thu 07-Feb-13 19:43:42

YANBU to be livid. That is shocking and dangerous behaviour. What does your dh think about it btw? Doing anything at all will be hard if he basically doesn't want to do anything about it...

i would probably dump the friend and tell them why. i wouldn't expect the drink driver to admit he has done wrong or to change.

Depending on what they are like and what the relationship
is like, I might well tell the wife. if i thought she would be furious. If I thought she would be mimsy and make excuses for her husband I wouldn't waste my energy.

echt Thu 07-Feb-13 19:44:44

The fact that he deliberately drank in secret, and must have known he was over the limit shows that threats may not work anyway, he'll just continue to drink on the sly.

Don't let him drive your family again, and tell him why.

rainrainandmorerain Thu 07-Feb-13 19:46:04

Oh - don't bother thinking how you can incentivise him to not drink and drive in the future. If he's drinking that heavily when he knows he shouldn't, and 'jokily' hiding it from the wife, nothing you do will make any difference.

Just keep your kids out of his car and if he drinks and drives again, shop him.

RoseGarden123 Thu 07-Feb-13 19:46:27

I have chatted to DH and we do feel that on reflection, looking at a lot of different things that have happened in the past that maybe there is a drink problem. Last year we were all on holiday together and he claimed to have dropped a full bottle of brandy we were going to try and so it smashed but both DH and I thought he was acting quite drunk that night even though no-one had had more than 2 medium glasses of wine. Also DH says he knows he hides drinks in his shed but had always thought it was because his wife is quite anti-drinking (maybe for good reason).

Wish I'd put the pieces together sooner. Still fuming though!

AThingInYourLife Thu 07-Feb-13 19:47:49

I couldn't be friends with the kind of person who deliberately drove while over the limit.

DeepRedBetty Thu 07-Feb-13 19:48:25

yanbu. I dropped a friend for driving my children around while yabbering into her hand held mobile, I'd have no compunction about dropping this man in it as deep as I could. 'Don't tell the missis hahaha' - pshaw!

(Actually might go and add 'pshaw' to the old fashioned words thread)

RoseGarden123 Thu 07-Feb-13 19:48:30

P.S. DH is fuming but doesn't think we should anything just avoid travelling with them again, he is very on-confrontational. But I would feel awful if soemthing happened I hadn't at least challenged the behaviour.

TheCatIsEatingIt Thu 07-Feb-13 19:49:57

If you drop him, you jeopardise your friendship with his wife. If she's important to you, think carefully. You're absolutely NBU to be fuming, though.

DeepRedBetty Thu 07-Feb-13 19:50:39


He's at Stage 3 alcoholism. Now in need of professional help, which will only be any good if he chooses to access it.

His wife will need her friends.

Maryz Thu 07-Feb-13 19:55:02

I feel sorry for his wife.

I bet she was trying to watch him, with him joking away about her trying to "control his drinking because she is a control freak" or something hmm.

I think you should confront him, but also tell his wife that you think he has a drink problem, so she can talk to you if she wants to.

He's probably one of those people who everyone loves because he is the life and soul of the party, but is hell to live with.

marriedinwhite Thu 07-Feb-13 19:56:46

I'm with your DH. Your son is fine although you now know another, perhaps more vulnerable side of your friend and his relationship with his wife. I would never let my children travel with him again but I wouldn't confront him about it and I wouldn't cause a massive row over it. I feel most for his wife who might at some stage need the support of close friends and causing a rumpus over this is not the right way to be there for her in the future. At some stage I mightly gently talk to her about addiction but not at present.

I don't think a challenge from you; as a friend is likely to stop him drinking in the short term to be honest.

Yfronts Thu 07-Feb-13 19:58:28

I would text him and the wife and just say that 'staff said you had had 2 large glasses of wine, a glass of champague and 2 glasses of brandy before driving x home'

I'd give him a chance to clear it up first.

AThingInYourLife Thu 07-Feb-13 19:59:57

Definitely report him next time.

Shenanagins Thu 07-Feb-13 20:12:31

Yanbu. To be honest if it was me i would go off the deep end and confront. I wouldn't care if it caused a massive scene as i would never want to be in their presence ever again.

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