Kicking back with a few buddies and having a drink or two can be a lot of fun — as long as everybody acts sensibly. Too often, that doesn’t happen. Maybe your “designated driver” forgot their job and started mixing rum into their Cokes — and that was three or four Cokes ago. Maybe one of your friends said they were going to grab an Uber home, but they’re fiddling with their keys and you can tell that they’re thinking about taking a chance.

It’s not easy to stop a friend from driving drunk, but you should try. You could be saving their life — or the life of someone else. Here are some tips:

  • Start the conversation early: If you wait until your friend’s hand is on their car door handle, you’re likely to encounter a lot of resistance. Drunk or sober, it’s easier to talk someone out of something before they’ve already decided on a course of action.
  • Offer to handle the ride home: You don’t have to be sober enough to step in as the designated driver in order to help. You can offer to use your Uber or Lyft app to call a car for your friend.
  • Call for reinforcements: If your friend isn’t listening to reason, it may be time to call for back-up. Enlist other friends to help you keep your buddy off the road. If necessary, call your inebriated friend’s spouse or parent. Even if your buddy gets mad at you for it, that’s better than losing them in a drunk driving accident.

Unfortunately, not everyone has friends who will step in and keep them from getting behind the wheel drunk – or they may not have anyone around when they take the wheel. If you end up in an accident with a drunk driver, make sure you fully understand your rights to compensation.