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Frustrated/pissed/hurt over friend's DUI-related accident

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by MU_was_not_so_hard, Nov 13, 2009.

  1. MU_was_not_so_hard

    MU_was_not_so_hard Active Member

    I need to vent, and I figure this was an ok place to do it.

    A buddy of mine decides he's going to drive home last night after drinking himself stupid. I wasn't there, but from what I understand, he was absolutely loaded. On the way home, he ran off a road and wrecked his car.
    The crash involved only his car. He suffered a broken neck (not sure how serious yet) and ended up with a bunch glass in his right eye. He was airlifted to one of the bigger cities in the state. He underwent a couple of surgeries, and from all accounts, he's stable and going to recover in time.

    Now, while his accident was a first, this wasn't a one-time deal. After he returned from a long stint in Iraq, he's been very careless with this sort of thing. Whenever he drinks, he thinks he can drive home. My wife and I always stop him when we're with him; we've taken his keys and put them into our bedroom and made him sleep it off on the couch several times. A couple weeks ago, another friend of ours told him he was essentially being an idiot about it and told him to cut it out.

    Then last night happens.

    I've talked with his brother, and even though our buddy likely has a DUI charge, jail time and suspended license waiting for him when he gets out of the hospital, there are several of us who are downright pissed at what he did because of the risk to himself and others. We've been thinking how lucky it worked out in that he didn't hit anyone else.

    Still, I don't know how to feel. My buddy is laying in a hospital bed with a big-time brace on his neck/head and his eye bandaged up. For some reason, though, I can't help feeling angry as all hell.
  2. qtlaw

    qtlaw Well-Known Member

    I think your initial reaction is understandable. However, if you are going to be a true friend, you need to support him, unconditionally. I am not going to pretend to know what a tour of duty in Iraq will do but I suspect that will be a major factor in his behavior and all you can do is support him. This does not mean enabling him, just supporting him, not shutting him out.
  3. maberger

    maberger Member

    please please please do what you can to get him into therapy as quickly as possible. or more realistically, i guess, to have him in therapy along with the physical therapy he will most likely be doing for the foreseeable future while in the hospital.
  4. Wenders

    Wenders Well-Known Member

    Agreed. He might have PTSD or the like. If anything, just talk to him about his drinking and make him understand that you and the rest of his friends are worried about him.
  5. WolvEagle

    WolvEagle Active Member

    When I was in college, a friend decided to drive to his parents' house 40 miles away after a night of St. Patrick's Day drinking (I wasn't with the group that night - I wasn't 21 yet). About halfway home, he drove underneath the back of an 18-wheeler.

    It amazed me that his casket was open. There was a ton of makeup on his face.

    This guy was a mentor to me when I started in college radio. I was pissed off that he did this to himself, but I also know that he was a good person who did something incredibly stupid (booze does that to people).

    MU - please stand by your friend, but let him know in no uncertain terms that he was DEAD WRONG. And, please strongly encourage him to get the help he needs.
  6. Rosie

    Rosie Active Member

    You have every right to be angry.

    Booze makes people do stupid things, like getting behind the wheel.

    Because laws are different in every state regarding DWI, here's a brief rundown of what would happen in MN.

    Because MN is an implied consent state, blood will have been drawn at the hospital and tested for blood alcohol content (BAC). Depending on BAC, priors and severity of the incident, he would face anything from misdemeanor fourth degree DWI (doubtful in this case) to first degree DWI, a felony. Because there was an accident, he may also face charges of careless driving, criminal damage to property and/or criminal vehicular operation.

    Jail time would also vary, depending on the charge. He could face anywhere from three days in jail (or the workhouse) to several years in prison. Most likely he would receive some jail time (three to ten days) with the rest of the jail time stayed on probation conditions: No drug or alcohol use or possession; do not enter bars or liquor stores; submit to random testing; undergo chemical dependency evaluation and treatment; attend MADD impact panel; plus fees. He could also be subject to electronic home alcohol monitoring.

    Probation would last from one year (misdemeanor) to five years or more (felony).

    That's Minnesota, your state may vary.

    He also, if he is still in the military, may face military sanctions as well.

    Stand beside your friend while letting him know how disappointed you are. Help him get the assistance he needs - many units have some sort of family readiness group which could be a starting point for finding out what treatment is available for him.

    Good luck and I'll be praying for him - and you.
  7. Baron Scicluna

    Baron Scicluna Well-Known Member

    If there's one positive thing to be gleaned from this, at least your friend didn't hurt or kill anyone else.

    I'll echo what the others are saying. Stand by your friend, but let him know how serious a thing this was, and encourage him to seek counseling.
  8. Sneed

    Sneed Guest

    Friend of mine once, after a night of much revelry, tried to drive four hours to Boone, NC from where we were in college to see his on-and-off girlfriend. This friend was the type to get fully inebriated off a six-pack, easy. He made it a couple of hours, falling asleep on and off. Pulled over to puke three times. Eventually turned around, got home at 5 a.m.

    It was a miracle he didn't get killed.

    That said, I wanted to beat the living hell out of him the next day. But the better reaction is to just be there for them. Oftentimes people who do such inane things realize it and want to change. My friend did.

    Then again, sometimes they don't. Much of it's relative depending on myriad variables.

    With your friend having returned home from Iraq, there's a very good chance that his behavior, especially if atypical to what he was like before leaving, is a result of something he experienced over there. Just be there for him. Hopefully this helped him realize he needs help, and he'll probably just want his friends to be his friends and let the professionals do the work.
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