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Health & Spirit

Reader wonders how to stop friend from driving drunk

By Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

Dear Amy: "Calvin," a 64-year-old co-worker of my husband's, was on the verge of being homeless, so we invited him to live in our home.

We now realize that Calvin is an alcoholic. We are now hiding our own alcohol in a padlocked refrigerator in our garage.

Calvin works only enough hours to leave time to drink at his favorite bar, which is across from the store where he and my husband work. We usually drive him to work, he works for about four hours and then drinks at the bar until my husband picks him up to come home (we live less than two miles away from the store).

Calvin has four grown children who live about an hour away.

Yesterday, one of his kids gave Calvin a car. He does not have a driver's license and today he drove himself to work.

As I write this, it's too early in the day to know if he stopped at the bar before driving himself home. What should I do, if anything?

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-- Worried

Dear Worried: It is possible that "Calvin's" grown children don't know that their father is an alcoholic with no driver's license. You and your husband are enabling Calvin to live this life, but because his kids gave him wheels, you should share your concerns with them.

You should call 911 if you suspect that someone is driving under the influence. Give a detailed description of the car and provide the license plate number. Police who regularly patrol your area will know the bar where he hangs out (and they might know Calvin, himself).

I assume Calvin doesn't have his license because of previous infractions. Getting nabbed for DWI -- hopefully before anyone gets hurt -- could lead to jail time for him, as well as having the car seized. This could (possibly) be a blessing in disguise, as it might force him to dry out and get into some sort of mandatory recovery program.

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