How to Identify a Drunk Driver

Man asleep at bar with bottles

America has a DUI crisis. Each year, more than 1-in-300 Americans are arrested for drunk driving. Worse than that, 1-in-3 Americans self-report driving while intoxicated. With so many drunk drivers on the road, it’s crucial that everyone is able to identify a drunk driver and report them to the authorities. Taking these steps might just prevent a serious, life-changing crash.

Know the Signs

Careless driving, on its own, probably isn’t worth reporting. However, if you spot a vehicle consistently showing these signs of reckless driving, it might warrant a call to the police.

Signs that a driver might be intoxicated include:

  • Wild swerving, almost like they’re driving on ice.

  • Following too closely or constantly attempting to pass.

  • Ignoring stoplights and stop signs

  • Not using turn signals or using incorrect turn signals.

  • Overly wide turns or fishtailing after a turn.

  • Constantly pumping brakes or harsh and sudden braking

  • No headlights on at night

If you see any combination of these signs, slow down or pull over and give the driver as much room as you feel comfortable. If you follow too closely and they are involved in a crash, you could get involved as well. Whatever you do, never try to talk to them or argue with them at a stoplight, that will endanger everyone on the road.

Calling It In

Road safety is a shared responsibility. If you reasonably suspect that a nearby driver is intoxicated or otherwise incapable of driving safely, you should call law enforcement or highway patrol.

While on the phone, tell the operator that you suspect there is a drunk driver on the road. Calmly tell them where you are and what direction you’re going. Provide them with the vehicle’s details and license plate number when they ask. Police take DUI reports very seriously and often track down a suspected DUI immediately.

Don’t feel guilty about reporting a potentially unsafe driver. Reckless drivers and those who don’t have full control of their vehicle need to be taken off the road. While you can’t know for certain if the driver ahead of you is under the influence, reporting them will ensure their well-being and the well-being of everyone else on the road.

If you or someone you love suffered serious injuries at the hands of a drunk driver, we are here for you. If you’d like to schedule a free case consultation with an experienced Newport Beach car accident attorney from Manning Law, APC to evaluate your case, please send us an email or call (800) 783-5006.

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