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Recognizing a Drunk Driver and What to Do

When you are driving down the highway or a city street, and you notice another vehicle swerving and driving erratically without their lights on, there’s a good chance you are dealing with a drunk driver. Sadly, a person is injured or killed by a drunk driver every 20 minutes in Texas, and more than one-third of all alcohol-related driving fatalities involve people under the age of 21.

Although it is evident just how dangerous drunk driving is, it seems more people than ever make the poor decision to get behind the wheel after having a couple of drinks. This mistake not only puts the driver and his or her passengers at risk but other drivers sharing the road with them. Knowing how to recognize a drunk driver is one way for you to protect yourself and others. By driving defensively and being alert both during the daytime and at night, you have a much better chance of staying out of harm’s way. Furthermore, if you can recognize a drunk driver and inform the police, you may save the lives of others.

Most Common Signs of Drunk Driving

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there are a handful of visual cues that indicate someone is driving while under the influence:

  • Failing to pay attention
  • Failing to maintain proper speed (sudden acceleration or braking)
  • Not staying in the proper driving lane
  • Inability to judge the proximity of objects
  • Making jerky or sudden turns
  • Over-correction of steering
  • Weaving through traffic and across traffic lanes
  • Making too wide a turn
  • Drifting towards one side of the road
  • Stopping the vehicle well-behind the crosswalk or curb
  • Driving at a speed of 10 miles or greater under the speed limit
  • Driving in the wrong direction
  • Failing to turn headlights on at night
  • Slow response to traffic control signals
  • Tailgating
  • Appearance of impairment

If you notice any of the above signs, please contact the authorities right away and report a drunk driver. Never follow the driver but take note of as much information as possible (license plate number, make and model of care, the direction they were heading, etc).  

What Should I Do If a Notice a Drunk Driver? 

If you think another driver is operating their vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol, take the following steps:

  • Stay calm and do not panic
  • Drive defensively
  • Get away from the vehicle as safely as you can
  • Report the drunk driver to the authorities and provide them with details such as:
    • The direction they were going
    • Where you saw the vehicle
    • The vehicle’s estimated speed
    • The make, model, and color of the vehicle
    • The vehicle’s license plate number

If you were involved in an accident with a drunk driver, please contact Green Law Firm. Our experienced drunk driving accident attorneys will help you seek compensation for any damages and will ensure justice is served.

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