Upset by well-known person drinking and driving

| 31/01/2018

On various occasions when I’m out at night, I’ve seen a very prominent person in a bar drinking heavily. I know he drives himself home. I think he’s clearly a danger to himself and others, not to mention he’s setting a terrible example as he’s someone who holds a high position. What should I do if I see him again?

Auntie’s answer: I am so glad you’ve asked this question as drinking and driving is an issue that really concerns me. Before I get into my response, in the interest of full disclosure, I will say from the outset that I have absolutely no tolerance for people who drink and then get behind the wheel of a car (or a motorcycle or scooter or bicycle for that matter – see Drinking and riding a bicycle). Zero, zilch, nada.

As for the prominent drinker you have seen driving, that person should be setting an example, not lowering the bar. By his actions, he is normalising behaviour that should not be normal. But as I am sure many people here know, he is not alone. There is an unfortunate culture in Cayman that somehow seems to accept drinking and driving as part of life (or death?). And this is despite the too many examples of deadly accidents caused by someone who was clearly impaired deciding it would be a fine idea to drive himself and his passengers home.

It is beyond time for that culture to change and this needs to start from the top. People in important and pre-eminent positions, especially politicians and police, need to be role models exhibiting the best behaviour they can, especially in public.

It is not difficult to choose to take a taxi to and/or from the bar or have a designated driver for the evening. I can think of no circumstance where it wouldn’t be acceptable to do so. And, of course, it is illegal to drive while under the influence.

Now specifically to your question, I suggest if you feel very strongly, the next time you see that person out drinking, you should tell him what you think about him driving home at the end of the evening. I also suggest you have the conversation before he has consumed too much alcohol, if possible. I know this may be difficult to do and perhaps that will make a difference, perhaps it won’t. But at least you can try.

You also probably have heard that the RCIPS has stepped up operations to catch drinking and driving offenders (see Cops call out ‘unacceptable conduct’ of drivers). I applaud that effort, though wish this increased emphasis had been standard operating procedure all along.

But we can all play a part. If you see a friend drinking in excess, offer to drive them home (or plead or yell, whatever it takes). Picking up their car the next morning is a lot less hassle and life-threatening than getting behind the wheel when intoxicated.

I look forward to the time I will not have to answer another question like yours.

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Category: Ask Auntie

Comments (45)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    so sad we in cayman having taking up sthis stupid Drinking culture, which have become way too common . Why the jokers cant have fun without the alcohol? Wny make Alcohol distributors and manafacturers RICH ? While you go home Drunk to your children or Grandchildren at night? Cant that person not go to the Gym, Yoga, Medidation or visiting a older persons ( where they can gain some wisdom) and de stress at the end of the day instead of sitting around at the Bar Counter?

  2. Anonymous says:

    I still trying think who in the world this could be???!! It can’t be. Any of the current Government because they are all such decent upstanding people. They have to be because we keep voting them back into office and we wouldn’t vote for someone who had no morals! Or who didn’t respect the high office we gave them! So I’m lost – this must be fake news

  3. Anonymous says:

    When we can regularly spot our country’s leaders out on a Friday night having one too many and feeling up Latinas I feel certain we won’t fix this issue

  4. JTB says:

    For whatever reason, drink driving has not attracted the social stigma in Cayman that it has in other countries. Behaviour that would be forcefully challenged or reported in the US or UK is ignored or even encouraged here by a sizeable proportion of the population.

    I’d suggest two changes. Firstly, any motorist stopped by the police for any reason should be breathalysed as a matter of course, without exceptions. Second, the problem with the availability and cost of public transport must be addressed – that means running buses later, and it means fitting meters in taxis.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Don’t both having a chat with the selfish scumbag. Just get his number plate and call it into the police so they can get them when they get home.

    • Anonymous says:

      Not phoning the police is signalling you are willing to allow innocent people to die because of your inaction. It is a moral imperative.

  6. Anonymous says:

    would need lots of taxi’s but what about her! its wrong still you right but its not only him its lots of hers too.

  7. Caymanian facts says:

    LMAO you say seen one prominent person out drinking, now that’s some funny sh…
    Just depends on the bars, restaurants you go to on any given night, you can see a prominent person out and about drinking and most likely driving under the influence.
    Go to the bar in NS owed by a retired MLA, look who’s in there drinking, look at the bar next to the lions centre, hmmm XXXXX, the cigar bar upstairs in Caribbean plaza. These are just a few spots prominent persons hang out, want some more, go to these charity events in the Kimpton or Ritz. Now you’ll see alot of prominent people leaving under the influence. Sundays go to brunch.

    Now with regards to the person whom you see out drinking, do you this person’s drink tolerance? No, so you are assuming said person is driving under the influence.

    Just to name a few prominent recent DUI cases.
    Inspector in police force
    Deputy chief immigration officer
    Magistrate (I’d like to know what’s going on in this case) (CNS: See here)

    DUI is a massive problem on this island, if the police really wanted to do something about it, they probably could arrest a minimum of 100 people every day.
    So what is the solution, it’s not an easy fix.
    Properly run transportation (not these over priced mafia taxis)

    Unfortunately we are ignorant people as a nationality, and it’s going to take a long time to fix this problem.

    • nauticalone says:

      Well said! After years of listening to proclamations by the powers that be (including recently retired drunk driver police traffic head) I have concluded that we are still a long way off from “zero tolerance” for the crime of drunk driving. Unfortunately the same applies also to the crime of child abuse (including child sexual abuse) where ridiculously lenient sentences are all too often handed down. Especially if the offender announces that he has found God!

      As others have noted; Cayman authorities could arrest far more by simply monitoring known habitual drinkers time at local bars (we know their cars!). What do the police think these people are doing?….in the bar several evenings per week for hours at a time?…drinking soft drinks?

      But I’ll also add that drunk driving is not the only problem now, as we have a culture of drivers that are simply rude, careless, dangerous! even without alcohol!

      For such a small island, with such a high number of police and such a high police budget it baffles many why there is not more consistent police presence / arrests?

  8. Anonymous says:

    The jaw-dropping problem in the Cayman Islands, established by Auntie in another thread, remains that the visible “RCIPS Traffic Unit” consists of merely 10 constables total (unclear if that is just Grand Cayman, or all three islands), presumably divided up and each working separate shifts, with days off and leave. Assume generously that a max of perhaps 3 officers are deployed in a 75.6 sq mile community on Grand Cayman at any given moment. That must be why our RCIPS response time is so glacial, and why most people, having made a call at one time or another, have chosen to give up faith in any response, and no longer bother to call the police for anything. The violent robbers, rapists, and home invaders are well-aware that they are likely to be long-gone by the time police arrive to file an error-filled unsolved mystery report. If it’s reported at all. Let’s talk about this landscape of inactivity please – it is inextricably linked to ALL crime statistics in the territory. Some official comment and explanation from Derek Bryne is due on why the Traffic Unit remains staffed at only 1% of payroll – despite years of fervent public outcry, and what seems to have been a false “zero tolerance” media campaign. Enough with the patronizing BS. We’re getting tired of asking nicely.

    • Anonymous says:

      Spot on, does anyone else remember the days when you would get pulled over for not having lights on your bicycle? Then every week we get reports of 30 plus road accidents over the weekend and surprise 27 arrests for DUI. I would love to see how many DUI arrest come from people not driving into trees, fences or round abouts or sadly innocent people.

      • Anonymous says:

        Cops in U.K. never pull anyone over for no bicycle lights. That said the further north you go in U.K. The fewer the cops.

        • Anonymous says:

          They used to. That remains my only brush with the law (literally, he didn’t have lights on his bike either)

    • nauticalone says:

      Well said! I agree completely!

  9. Anonymous says:

    Well well, you might as well had called him out by his name. I really hope he is paying attention.

    • Anonymous says:

      Calling him out by name would be fine……. but I don’t think CNS would print it.

      CNS: Sadly, no, we would not be able to do that.

    • Anonymous says:

      The epidemic of DUI involves so many: both male and female; and from all walks. Limiting just to the prominent category: financial professionals, civil servants, judges, clergy, notorious retirees, and doctors. The problem is so widespread and common that it would be impossible to know who specifically they are talking about.

  10. Spark says:

    You call the police.. He could kill someone and that would be over your head for the rest of your life.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Call the cops, you have seen him before doing it is your civil responsibility to report a crime. By not reporting it what happens if he/she kills someone, can you live with the guilt of doing nothing. A few words in his ear is unlikely to do anything if they are a repeat offender, but a ban and public humiliation will.

  12. Anonymous says:

    unless you are giving him a breathalyser. Mind your own business. How do you know how much alcohol tolerance he has? You are the type of person that just likes to stir the pot, aren’t you?

    • Anonymous says:

      Selfish alcoholic commentators like this, demonstrate the widespread alcoholism and flagrant disregard for the safety of our roads. Idiots like these, think they are fantastic infallible drivers until they are proven otherwise. Sometimes through killing or severely injuring other people or themselves. I know this, because I’ve lost many dear friends to attitudes like these. Your appointment with destiny awaits…

    • JTB says:

      A drunk driver writes…

    • Anonymous says:

      tolerance? WTF that’s doesn’t affect the countries legal drinking limit you know? Scary the lack of education some people have here, back to school bobo

    • Anonymous says:

      It’s not about their tolerance, it’s about the legal limit to operate a vehicle safely!

    • Anonymous says:

      You sir/madam are part of the problem.

    • Anonymous says:

      Tolerance ?

      • Anonymous says:

        I have a bigger belly than yours, is that the tolerance you are referring to?

    • Right ya so says:

      Just because they appear to be sober, doesn’t mean that they are sober! Calling the cops or crime stoppers is the best thing that you can do – God forbid they kill someone.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Ha! No surprise who that is they talking about

  14. Anonymous says:

    Take a photo of him drinking. That wold be the first step. Call cops once he heads for his vehicle. If cops refuse to interfere, document time you called and file a complaint. Or send it to CNS anonymously.

  15. Drain the swamp says:

    Auntie looks lile you afriad to tell the person to call the police, why was this advice not given?

  16. Anonymous says:

    Buy him a shot you nerd!

  17. Anonymous says:

    A very common past time among high ranking officials. When One such person was challenged, the response was ‘nothing can happen to me, I know the chief of police’. It is how it works in Cayman and will do as long as the cronyism and nepotism is allowed to continue.

  18. Ed Armstrong says:

    Some years ago, I was in a restaurant with a friend who drank heavily that evening. He was asked by a waiter if he intended driving home. He said he was.
    An hour later, he left and was stopped almost immediately by the police, breathalysed and subsequently lost his license for 21 months with a $400 fine.
    It was obvious that the police had been alerted by the waiter and I applaud him for that.
    The questioner should do the same: ring the police and suggest they stop him.

  19. Dunz says:

    Thus is condoning his behaviour, just report the person to the police.

  20. Anonymous says:

    People in Cayman feel like they have to drink and drive because there are not many other good options. The taxi cartel prevents competition and I have never been picked up in less than 30 minutes after calling the taxi. Better public transport and breaking up the taxi cartel would go a long way to stopping drinking and driving.

    • Anonymous says:

      it would you’re right, but mainly it’s people themselves who need to change first.

    • Anonymous says:

      Not drinking is the only acceptable option if you’re planning to be driving that far to service your addiction. If you physically can’t abstain, you’ve got a serious health problem, and need to seek help.

    • Right ya so says:

      so, because it’s difficult/expensive to get a taxi one can drink with impunity, is that what you’re implying?

  21. Anonymous says:

    And yet Auntie, nowhere in your response do you recommend making a report to the police. Why? Do you not trust the police to keep the informer’s identity confidential, or is the risk of an innocent being killed acceptable in our society?

  22. Anonymous says:

    Interesting that “call the police” is not an option.