Would You Stop Someone From Driving Drunk?

What If Children Are Involved?

It didn't seem to make a difference if the actor was a man or a woman. But would people react differently if the drunk was with young children?

The responses did indeed seem markedly different. People reacted more quickly and much more urgently. When Cecelia tried to get in the car with two little girls, a group of people gathered around to intervene almost immediately. They got hold of her keys and ignored her when she asked for them back.

The man who took the keys, Jerry, was a drug and alcohol counselor. He said that he wouldn't have given the keys back to Cecelia "under any circumstances."

"I would have given them to a police officer. I would not have given them to her," he said.

But is that the right thing to do?

David Sabagh, the chief of police in Montclair, N.J., said that holding on to a drunk driver's keys when the driver asks for them back may not always be the best idea.

"We don't want to see anybody putting themselves at risk," he said. "You don't want to risk a life to save a life. You don't know who you're dealing with, quite frankly, and you don't want them to become violent or boisterous. You want to make sure not to harm yourself."

Sabagh recommended that if you can't convince the person not to drive, then step back and try to distract the driver until the police arrive.

But if that doesn't work, be an attentive witness: Take down the license plate number, call 911 and give police detailed information about the driver. And remember those good Samaritans the next time you see someone tipsy about to get into a car.

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