Safe, responsible drivers know that drinking and driving is a deadly combination. However, you might still encounter a drunk driver on the road, which puts you at risk of an accident.
While this is a stressful situation, there are steps to take if you encounter a drunk driver. By doing the following, you can hopefully avoid an accident and help bring the inebriated driver to justice.
How to identify a drunk driver
You can often identify drunken motorists by their driving habits. Alcohol consumption causes a range of physical effects, and many of these effects prevent a motorist from operating their vehicle safely.
Drunk drivers typically swerve around the road and have difficulty remaining within their lane. They may weave in and out of lanes of traffic without signaling. They can also drive too close to other vehicles, also known as tailgating. In some cases, they will drive without their lights on at night or blatantly disregard traffic lights and signs.
What to do if you believe someone is driving while intoxicated
First and foremost, keep your distance from the vehicle. While you will naturally want to pass the driver, doing so can cause an accident if they react unexpectedly. Adjust your speed and remain behind them for the time being.
If possible to do so safely, take note of the vehicle details. This includes the color, the make, the model, and the license plate number if possible. Do not put yourself in harm’s way just to get a description, just do the best you can.
Once it is safe to do so, find a place to park and contact the police with any information you have. Even providing the road or intersection where the drunk driver was last seen can help catch the person.