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This designated driver needs a refresher course

DEAR ABBY: A few weeks ago, I met a group of friends at a local pub. "Charlie" was the designated driver. As the evening progressed, I noticed Charlie was drinking beer. When I mentioned it, he said he'd had only three. Then he insisted he was fine and "it was only beer."

I tried to explain the danger of driving while "buzzed" and told him I'd walk home. Charlie then became insulted that I didn't trust him to know his limits. He said I should relax and quit being so uptight.

A few days later, some of my friends told me I had caused "unnecessary drama" that night and that my standards for the designated driver were "unrealistic." They also said that Charlie wasn't drunk and was totally capable of driving. But the fact remains, our designated driver wasn't sober, and I wasn't comfortable getting into a car with him.

I voiced my opinion; now I'm being punished for it. Did I judge Charlie too harshly? — VALUES MY SAFETY, DAVIS, CALIF.

DEAR VALUES YOUR SAFETY: Not in MY book, and not in the one published by the California Department of Motor Vehicles. In its California Drivers Handbook, under the section titled "Designated Driver Program," it lists the requirements for someone to be a designated driver. Among them: "Must abstain from consuming alcoholic beverages for the duration of the outing." That means not drinking anything with alcohol in it. Zilch!

You were right to speak up. In the future, if you decide to socialize with these folks, arrange to meet them. And if the location is not within walking distance, take a cab.

DEAR ABBY: "Tracey" is beautiful, caring and fun to spend time with. I fell hard for her and knew I could love her forever. When she broke up with me to "be on her own," I was very hurt.

My best friend, "Henry," says he started sleeping with Tracey right after our breakup. I was his best man when he married "Jill." Now Henry has left Jill for Tracey, and I am left with a sick stomach. How do I heal my wounds while supporting Jill, which keeps them painfully open? — HEARTSICK IN OHIO

DEAR HEARTSICK: One way would be to remind yourself that as "caring and fun" as Tracey was to be with, she had no reluctance about dating a married man. Another would be to level with Jill, explain that spending time with her is a painful reminder of the way you were dumped, and take a break from it until you have healed.

DEAR ABBY: I became fast friends with one of my husband's co-workers after meeting her at a happy hour. We had fun going out, usually to dance clubs.

One night when my husband tagged along, I overheard her tell him, "If you weren't married, I could be with you." When I confronted her about it the next night, she apologized, saying she had been feeling no pain and can't believe she said it. My husband chalks it up to her being stupid drunk, but I can't let it go.

Now when I see her at work functions, I am cordial and she acts like nothing ever happened. We could have been great friends if she hadn't said what she did, but each time I think I can bury the hatchet, I get angry and upset all over again.

Should I just get over it? Or am I justified in feeling I can't be friends with someone I can't trust? — DISTRUSTFUL IN ILLINOIS

DEAR DISTRUSTFUL: You're justified. And I'm saying it cold sober.

Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Write Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.