How to Spot a Drunk Driver
While we work hard to turn cars into the cure and eliminate drunk driving forever, families must continue to be vigilant on our roadways. You can help protect your family from drunk drivers by looking for these signs of intoxication among other motorists:
- Quick acceleration or deceleration
- Weaving or zig-zagging across the road
- Driving anywhere other than on a road designated for vehicles
- Almost striking an object, curb, or vehicle
- Stopping without cause or erratic braking
- Drifting in and out of traffic lanes
- Signaling that is inconsistent with driving actions
- Slow response to traffic signals (e.g. sudden stop or delayed start)
- Straddling the center lane marker
- Driving with headlights off at night
- Driving slower than 10 mph below the speed limit
- Turning abruptly or illegally
- Driving into opposing traffic on the wrong side of the road
What to Do if You See a Drunk Driver
It happens every day. Drunk drivers get on the roads, endangering our friends and loved ones. Sometimes, we witness these drivers on the road, weaving in and out of lanes or traveling down a highway going the wrong direction. Quite often, responsible citizens are left asking themselves—what do I do?
First, stay as far away from the other vehicle as possible.
Second, do not try to pass the vehicle or signal the driver to pull over. Doing so could result in a collision.
Third, take notice of the license plate number along with details of the vehicle including make, model and color. However, make sure you don’t compromise your own safety trying to obtain this information.
Finally, pull over and call 911. Give the exact location of the vehicle, including the name of the road or cross streets and the direction the vehicle is traveling. Give a complete description of the vehicle and the manner in which the vehicle is being driven.
Then leave the rest up to the heroes that work hard to make our roads safe.
Tips: How to Prevent Someone from Driving Drunk
The best way to prevent someone from driving drunk is to make a plan for a sober designated driver, and make sure everyone agrees to it ahead of time. If you are faced with a situation where someone who’s impaired is trying to drive, here are some tips on how to stop them:
- Be as non-confrontational as possible.
- Suggest alternate ways of getting to their destination — a cab, a sober driver, public transportation.
- Remember that the person you are talking to is impaired — talk a bit more slowly and explain things more fully than if you were speaking to a sober person.
- Explain that you don’t want them to drive because you care and you don’t want them to hurt themselves or others.
- Suggest that they sleep over.
- Enlist a friend to help you or to act as moral support — it’s more difficult to say “no” to two (or three or four) people than one.
- If possible, get the person’s keys. It is far easier to persuade the potential driver when you hold this leverage.
- If all else fails, call law enforcement. It’s better to have a friend arrested than injured or killed.