There aren't too many of us who haven't been to a party, out to dinner, or at a bar with a group of friends. Once in a while someone who drives has too much to drink though, and then other people are left to help with the situation. Saskatchewan Government Insurance has started a clever new campaign called “Be a Good Wingman” to help people understand what they can do when they in the situation of helping an impaired friend make the right decisions.
The idea behind the campaign is to have people stop friends from drinking and driving, even when it becomes an uncomfortable decision to make. Essentially, a wingman is a good friend who is on the lookout for you. They don’t want you getting in trouble, hurting yourself or other people. They take action when you aren’t making the right choices.
We all know that impaired driving is dangerous, but sometimes it only takes one drink to cross the line from being fine to being impaired. States of impairment depend on weight, sex and amount of alcohol combined with the length of time the alcohol is consumed over. However, impairment is also impacted by the use of prescription medications or recreational drugs, illness, whether you have had anything to drink for a while, and fatigue.
If you are out with friends and someone has had too much to drink help them. There are low key ways to offer the help:
Offer to drive them home in their car then have a friend or cab take you to your car.
Offer to call your friend a cab.
Offer to call your friend a car service that will drive them home in their own car.
Offer to take them home on the bus.
If the party is at someone’s house offer to have them stay for the night.
If your friend refuses help and is impaired you can become more forceful in your request and can tell them you will take them home or call them a cab. If your friend continues to refuse help and insists on driving impaired you may need to threaten to call 911. This will likely escalate the situation but may be effective. If someone gets in the car impaired you should advise the bartender, or call 911 and report them yourself. You may save more than one life. Sometimes being a good friend means making a hard decision.
Saskatchewan continues to have the highest impaired driving rates in Canada.