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An interesting question. Two ways to present the issue to the passenger:
1. Ask them what they would prefer: the potential to cause harm and/or be fined/jailed or to work off the hangover by walking/riding back to the car when capable, or
2. Observe that you have been told that there will be an increased police presence blitzing morning after drivers in the area - see point 1.

Of course all this pre-supposes that they are receptive to common sense. A case could be made that the public would be served by the State paying th eincremental taxi bill (probably cheaper than sponsoring a footy team).

If it were me, I think I would offer to drop them home from the station free of charge.

Also, I can't see the police doing much about it if the person is already home. I doubt they would leap in their cars and race to the scene in this sort of case. You might want to ask a police officer what they suggest you do.

As a former bar worker we used to encounter this problem regularly. We used to try and remind our patrons of the dangers - and in some cases if we knew them well enough took their keys away.

It comes back to that question of responsibility - Do you as a cab driver have any responsibility to ensure the safety of the community if that person isn't taking any responsibility of their own?

You also have to condiser your own safety if you are going to threaten to call the police on them...

i droped a guy back at his car once and he was way over the limit to drive so after i saw him drive off i called the police i didn't have to give my name just stated what sort of car he was driving and which direction he was going,guess what i was reading the local paper a week later and there was a story about a driver going DUI after a tip off.i also years ago was driving a nite shift and followed a car all over the road so when it pulled up at a red light i got out and after smelling and seeing the driver was way intoxicated i reached in and graped the keys from the ignition and lobbed them as far as i could,the car the next day had been pushed to the side of the road near where i did this.the guy was so pissed he would not have remembered what had happened.

A difficult question. As has been pointed out, you risk your personal safety if a drunken passenger finds out you dobbed him in. There is also a matter of conscience here in that if the drunk later kills himself or others in a crash that dobbing him in in may have prevented.
I think I would tend to go with the advice that he appears too drunk to drive home, and offer to take him the extra distance to get safely home. If he flatly refuses, there is really not a lot more you can do. Even if there is a police car in the immediate vicinity, it is unlikely thay will be able to respond in time.
I would be interested to hear a police officer's view on this.
Does your cabbie's association have any particular policy?

Adrian, I would like to reiterate Dave and PQ, your safety is paramount here. I would be worried about your being threatened after you state that you would contemplate giving their details to the police if they drive off. (I hope that makes sense)

If it was me (and I am not a taxi driver) I would threaten them with contacting the police. If only to prevent them from harming someone I love.

Some good points here folks and much appreciated.

I'm almost certain police have the power to enter premises and conduct breath testing, after the event of driving. Additionally they are obliged to respond to notification of a serious traffic violation.

That said, safety would undoubtedly be the determining factor on how the issue was handled. And yes, it might be wiser to offer a free fare for the extra journey. But sheesh, I already give to charity, so what am I getting myself into !? Bloody ethics.

You could always declare a "War On DUIs", shoot the bastard, steal his car, and write the whole thing off as "Collateral Damage".

Seems to be a very popular solution with some people. Even considered highly ethical by some, or so I hear.

Adrian, this subject has come up before on cablog and it wound me up then as well. I'll reiterate the point I made previously which is that drunken people are no less responsible for their actions than sober people.

Your job (if I may be so bold), is to get them and yourself safely to their destination, wherever that may be. It is not to take on their social responsibilities in the event they have rendered themself incapable of doing so.

However, I do understand your dilemma so if your conscience insists you have to do something, note down their license plate as they drive off and inform the police.

Since I started this, I'd better offer my opinion. I reckon, all things considered in the situation Adrian described, call the cops.

If he wasn't so legless, or if some other circumstance was changed, maybe I'd think differently.

Fair enough Paper Boy. Left to their own devices drunks are not my problem, as you say. Unless of course they decide the road is there to share, thereby becoming every other road users problem.

Anthony, you're right. Staggering drunks intending to drive definitely warrant action.

This is an excellent question. I goofed up my first chance to do the right thing. After thinking about it a lot, I'll not let anyone I think may be drunk get behind the wheel.

This was my error...

Adrian, affect a tone of being helpful to a mate, and tell the drunk passenger you've noticed a police blitz in the area. You could reinforce this by adding a tale of a fictitious passenger busted for DUI last week.

The technique of treating the police as a common enemy adds a lot of weight to the suggestion.

You could then point out a taxi fare is a lot cheaper than losing his licence. Again, treating the system as a common enemy.

If all that fails, you should certainly report the drunken driver to the police.

At the risk of being over involved, I feel one should intervene if someone is likely to harm themselves or others. I think such acts are part of a caring society and they are also memorable.

They get talked about and become part of a positive folklore that makes a place special. I would not expect to hear stories of such help in the Big Apple, for example. Mike

TM, a very sensible suggestion and likely the only way to handle the situation effectively. Well said.

At the risk of being over involved,

Mike, over the weekend I consulted a legal-aid solicitor and a Federal cop. Both agreed that drunken drivers should be reported. However in the event of charges being laid, I would be required to appear in court and give evidence as a witness. At my expense. Oh, dear...

Adrian, that's similar to what I was told when I rang to report a tyre-dumper at Bicentennial Park. For the police to do something I either had to attend the station to make a report, or wait until a police car arrived and I could make a report then. I would then be required to make a statement and be prepared to attend court. Nevermind then, I told the officer. They did take his rego number and promised to give him a call, but that's as far as they'd take it. Kinda discouraging, but I tried.

But with drink driving the driver would be breath-tested (assuming the police intercepted him before he got home) in which case it's not your word against his, so I don't see why you'd be involved further...

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