How to address Drunk Driving and Carpool??? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 20 Old 05-31-2013, 01:37 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I need some advice on how to talk to (or not talk to) this mom.

 

On Saturday I dropped my DD and some of her friends off at a friend's house. Another mom was suppose to pick the girls up and drive them home. When the mom showed up to get the girls she was drunk. My DD was the only one there with any kind of driving permit, she has her learners. The daughter of the drunk woman told her that she was drunk and that she needed to let my DD drive. So the mom hopped into the passenger seat and my DD drove everybody home. I didn't find out about any of this until after the fact. I am pretty sure that it's illegal to 'supervise' someone driving with only a learner's permit while drunk. I am glad that my DD drove and didn't die in an accident. I want to tell the mom to just call me and I will do the carpool if she has had to much to drink but I suspect she will just deny what happened. Maybe she should just be cut out of the carpool loop all together???

 

The mom is recently divorced and has been drinking a lot to cope but this is the first time I have heard of her drunk driving.

 

Advice please!


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#2 of 20 Old 05-31-2013, 02:10 PM
 
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So she was at friend B's house, and friend A's mom came to pick her up but was drunk? Did friend B's parents see this or notice?

Honestly, I'd probably tell her directly that I am aware she came to pick them up drunk and I won't be a part of the car pool, and I'd tell the other parents and arrange for car pooling without her. I would not punish her daughter and I would personally just allow her daughter to be driven without a parent contributing to the driving.

This mother knows you know about it. I might offer to help her find resources to help her, if you want to be really nice about it. But I'd be direct about it.

I speak as the child of an alcoholic. I think you have to be direct with people with drinking problems. They don't always see their drinking the way other people see it.
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#3 of 20 Old 05-31-2013, 02:23 PM
 
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I would not let her continue to drive in the carpool. I would speak directly to her about it, unless there is another carpool parent who is better situated eg. someone who is a closer friend. 

 

I would also speak to your DD about it. If that happened here, she jeopardized her own driving permit by allowing someone under the influence to supervise her. If she was pulled over or in a traffic accident, there would be legal and insurance ramifications.  

 

As a driver, there will be all sorts of situations where your DD may have to make tough decisions that her peers may not like. She may as well learn how to do it now. In that scenario, she should have called you - or another responsible fully licensed driver - for help.

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#4 of 20 Old 05-31-2013, 04:28 PM - Thread Starter
 
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So she was at friend B's house, and friend A's mom came to pick her up but was drunk? Did friend B's parents see this or notice?

Correct, and Friend B's parents were not home. Even if they were home, they may not have known. When kids get picked up from my house, most parents just call the kid's cell phone and the kid comes out. The parent never comes to the door. There are some parents I have never even met but have picked up and dropped off kids at my house.

 

Usually A's dad does the driving and he always comes to the door. Since the divorce, it's been awkward for A to call her dad and say can you come pick me up and take me to mom's house (they live in the same neighborhood two streets away from each other).

 

This isn't the first parent in our community to have this problem but it's the first time my daughter was involved. I would never punish A for not being able to secure a ride. I guess I should speak to the mom directly because I don't want to bring it up to other parents (even though they are better friends as olly suggested) and turn it into gossip. Or should I mention it to the parents of the other kids that were in the car?


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#5 of 20 Old 05-31-2013, 04:30 PM
 
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If other parents were entrusted to her care for a ride and she turned up drunk, I'd absolutely tell the other parents. Drunks don't have the right to have people keep their problem a secret when they are endangering other people.
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#6 of 20 Old 06-01-2013, 08:23 AM
 
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Accusing some one of being drunk, especially when they are driving children around, is very serious. How do you KNOW she was drunk?

 

Although I think that your DD did the right thing* by not being a passenger in a car with someone she suspected of being intoxicated, I don't know that accusing someone of being drunk and telling the whole community that she was drunk is also the right thing.

 

The fact that the mom is recently divorced and is not coping well is reason enough to let her off the hook for driving carpool for awhile.  Unless you have some proof that she was drunk, I suggest side skipping that issue. It is too big of an accusation to make lightly.

 

*It sounds like in the end, your DD drove herself home and then the woman she believed to be drunk was left with the keys and the car (and her own teen?) to drive home. It was a very difficult situation your DD was in, and in I think she did well. None the less, knowing letting a person you believe to be drunk to drive isn't a good idea.


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#7 of 20 Old 06-01-2013, 08:58 AM
 
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I would feel a little odd about telling all the other parents what happened, at the same time if someone showed up drunk to drive my kid around - I'd want to know!


As her own daughter and multiple other (old enough to drive) kids insisted she had been drinking AND she agreed to let someone else drive, that's pretty much admission of guilt for me.

 

I agree with the poster who said cut her out of the driving roster for the carpool but keep giving her daughter rides.

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#8 of 20 Old 06-01-2013, 12:33 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Linda on the move View Post

Accusing some one of being drunk, especially when they are driving children around, is very serious. How do you KNOW she was drunk?

 

Although I think that your DD did the right thing* by not being a passenger in a car with someone she suspected of being intoxicated, I don't know that accusing someone of being drunk and telling the whole community that she was drunk is also the right thing.

 

The fact that the mom is recently divorced and is not coping well is reason enough to let her off the hook for driving carpool for awhile.  Unless you have some proof that she was drunk, I suggest side skipping that issue. It is too big of an accusation to make lightly.

 

*It sounds like in the end, your DD drove herself home and then the woman she believed to be drunk was left with the keys and the car (and her own teen?) to drive home. It was a very difficult situation your DD was in, and in I think she did well. None the less, knowing letting a person you believe to be drunk to drive isn't a good idea.


Sorry, I didn't make it clear. My DD drove herself, her friend and her friend's mom to her friend's mom's house and DD spent the night there.

 

Here's the play by play: DD dropped off all the other girls first. Then she drove herself, her friend and her friend's mom to my house. I was already in bed and DH was playing video games waiting for DD to get home (he knew that she was coming by to get her stuff to spend the night with her friend). When they got to my house DD ran in to get her spend the night stuff. DH heard DD's friend yelling at her mom in our driveway. He investigated and found out that she was drunk. He came back in and DD told him that she had been driving/was going to drive. He came in and woke me up to tell me about it but at that point DD was already back outside and leaving. I waited 10 minutes which is a little longer than it would take to get to the friend's house from my house and then called DD. DH had told me that DD was driving and I didn't want to call her while she was driving. I confirmed everything DH had said with DD. I didn't have time to intervene before they were gone and DH didn't know what to do.

 

I am inclined to just do what I have done in the past with other parents that drink and drive which is to tell DD that the parent is no longer allowed to drive her anywhere and DH and I will just fill in where the other parent normally would. However with those parents they had been addicts for years. This woman has only recently started this, since her divorce, and I feel like I should reach out in a 'I know you are hurting and struggling right now let me help sort of way'.


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#9 of 20 Old 06-01-2013, 06:55 PM
 
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Wait - Dad didn't know what to do? And allowed your daughter to not only drive but also spend the night there? 

 

Wow.

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#10 of 20 Old 06-01-2013, 07:06 PM
 
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yeah if she was drunk i would have gone and got my kid. What if she needed to be driven to the store later or continued to drink? Thats a lot of stress for your dd.
 

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#11 of 20 Old 06-02-2013, 05:55 AM
 
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Originally Posted by pattimomma View Post

 

I am inclined to just do what I have done in the past with other parents that drink and drive which is to tell DD that the parent is no longer allowed to drive her anywhere and DH and I will just fill in where the other parent normally would. 

 

Maybe I live a particularly sheltered life, but this made me pause. It makes me think that driving under the influence is not unusual where you are, if you've had other drunken parents (plural - wow - how many times has this happened??) try to drive your kid. I have never once had to deal with an impaired parent showing up to drive my kids. I can only think of a few people who never drink alcohol, so it isn't because people here are especially abstemious. It's just considered absolutely unacceptable. Maybe that difference in how often it happens is why your DH let this woman supervise your DD while she was driving, but my DH (and I) would not be letting our DD behind the wheel of a car for a long time if she showed such poor judgement in her driving.

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#12 of 20 Old 06-02-2013, 06:22 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Maybe I live a particularly sheltered life, but this made me pause. It makes me think that driving under the influence is not unusual where you are, if you've had other drunken parents (plural - wow - how many times has this happened??) try to drive your kid. I have never once had to deal with an impaired parent showing up to drive my kids. I can only think of a few people who never drink alcohol, so it isn't because people here are especially abstemious. It's just considered absolutely unacceptable. Maybe that difference in how often it happens is why your DH let this woman supervise your DD while she was driving, but my DH (and I) would not be letting our DD behind the wheel of a car for a long time if she showed such poor judgement in her driving.

 

Unfortunately drunk driving is common in my community. We live in a fairly affluent neighborhood and people seem to think that their money puts them above the law (and somehow also affects their common sense). When people can spend lots of $$$ on attorneys to get them out of trouble, it's not a good thing. As young as elementary school a boy told his mom to pull over and let him out of the car because she was drunk and had hit a mailbox. Two moms have lost custody of their children due to alcohol and drug abuse (both of them are dead now as a result of their addiction).  I trained my children to watch how many drinks parents had when they went out to eat. If I hadn't I would never be able to let my kids go anywhere with other parents. Almost all social functions center around the availability of alcohol. These are family events, the most recent was a memorial day party at the private pool in our neighborhood. There were a lot of people driving away from there that probably shouldn't have been. The high school is full of kids that are just like their parents. My DD said that if the school actually drug tested athletes, then there would be no teams. Our area is low on violent crimes, and great in public school education, it's just full of addicts. The mom in question on the thread is one of the few parents that was still providing carpool. It will be more work for us but it's safer. I was just trying to figure out if it is worth trying to intervene since she hasn't abused alcohol before now (that I know of). 


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#13 of 20 Old 06-02-2013, 08:24 AM
 
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Given what you posted on how prevalent this is, I am even more astounded that your husband didn't know what to do. The only explanation I can come up with is that he is stepDad and wasn't sure what he *could* do legally. Otherwise? Gob.Smacked.

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#14 of 20 Old 07-06-2013, 10:14 PM
 
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Interesting. I also live in an affluent area with a lot of drinking; however ( I believe) almost no drinking and driving and certainly none during carpools.
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#15 of 20 Old 07-07-2013, 04:10 AM
 
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Honestly? If I had been your husband, I would have told your daughter she was not staying the night there. He would drive them home, and you would follow him so that he had a ride home. Sorry - but that was just irresponsible parenting, IMO. 

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#16 of 20 Old 07-07-2013, 10:20 AM
 
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Her agreeing to get in the passenger seat and allowing another to drive is enough admission to guilt.

 

I don't care if she rarely drinks or is under a lot of stress, making the decision to drink and then go pick up a bunch of kids is incredibly inappropriate and I would be alerting all of the kids parents to this irresponsible decision, which could have very well cost their children their lives, thank God it didn't.

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#17 of 20 Old 08-09-2013, 05:52 AM
 
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I agree with not letting this woman drive carpool, ever again, but making sure her daughter is included. I also would not have let my daughter spend the night--I would have gone over there to pick her up, as well as the drunk woman's daughter, if she wanted.

On a related note, what are everyone's thoughts on cell-phone-use-while-driving by mothers of friends who are driving your children?

Experts say that this is dangerous as drunk driving.
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#18 of 20 Old 08-09-2013, 06:49 AM
 
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Unfortunately drunk driving is common in my community. We live in a fairly affluent neighborhood and people seem to think that their money puts them above the law (and somehow also affects their common sense). When people can spend lots of $$$ on attorneys to get them out of trouble, it's not a good thing. As young as elementary school a boy told his mom to pull over and let him out of the car because she was drunk and had hit a mailbox. Two moms have lost custody of their children due to alcohol and drug abuse (both of them are dead now as a result of their addiction).  I trained my children to watch how many drinks parents had when they went out to eat. If I hadn't I would never be able to let my kids go anywhere with other parents. Almost all social functions center around the availability of alcohol. These are family events, the most recent was a memorial day party at the private pool in our neighborhood. There were a lot of people driving away from there that probably shouldn't have been. The high school is full of kids that are just like their parents. My DD said that if the school actually drug tested athletes, then there would be no teams. Our area is low on violent crimes, and great in public school education, it's just full of addicts. The mom in question on the thread is one of the few parents that was still providing carpool. It will be more work for us but it's safer. I was just trying to figure out if it is worth trying to intervene since she hasn't abused alcohol before now (that I know of). 

I wonder if we live in the same area. I'm also in the south in a fairly affluent area where people think the rules just don't apply to them. I've heard people in the largest gated neighborhood complain that they can't even drive around their own neighborhood anymore without the police harassing them, but it's ok because everyone knows a judge. Drinking is just a huge part of the culture here.
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#19 of 20 Old 08-09-2013, 07:48 AM
 
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Regarding cell use while driving I think it is very important to model to future drivers that it is not okay.  As dangerous as an experienced driver using the phone while driving is - it is even more dangerous with an inexperienced teen driver.

 

The thing that drives me crazy is that I often get calls from the parents of the kids who I am driving while I am driving.  Most of the people in my community have a blue tooth speaker system in their cars so they assume everyone else does, but I have a cheap old car and a cheap old phone.

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#20 of 20 Old 08-09-2013, 09:42 AM
 
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Not sure if bluetooth really makes that much difference in safety, particularly when people use it to text: http://news.yahoo.com/hands-free-texting-found-more-dangerous-making-phone-014522742.html

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