Recognize and Report a Drunk Driver

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, drunk driving causes more than half of all fatal highway motor vehicle accidents every year. When it comes to fatal car wrecks involving a single car, 65 percent of them involve a drunk driver.

Even with all we know about how alcohol impairs a person’s ability to operate a vehicle, drunk driving is still a widespread problem. As bystanders, we all play a role in reporting drunk drivers to keep roadways safe for everyone. If you see a drunk driver and report them, you may be saving a life.

Signs a Driver May Be Drunk

It is important to recognize drunk drivers on the road for your safety and the safety of others. Signs a driver is drunk may include:

  • Swerving in and out of lanes
  • Driving slower than the speed limit
  • Erratic braking and accelerating
  • Driving on the wrong side of the road
  • Failure to obey traffic signs and signals
  • Narrowly missing an object, curb, or another vehicle
  • Driving without headlights at night
  • Speeding or tailgating

While these signs do not automatically mean a driver is under the influence, they may still be reckless or experiencing a medical emergency and should be reported to the police.

What to Do If You Suspect a Driver Is Drunk

If you see any of these signs of impairment, you should never put your life in danger to stop them or get their attention; it is only going to increase your risk of being in an accident or physical altercation. Instead, take the following steps to report someone who is drunk driving:

  • Make a mental note of the vehicle make, model, and color.
  • Try to remember the driver’s license plate, if possible.
  • Pay attention to the location of the car, including streets, intersections, and landmarks.
  • If you are not driving, use your cellphone to take a photo or video of the suspected drunk driver.
  • Call the police and share these details with the dispatcher, include the behaviors you observed that suggest the driver is drunk.

Contacting Emergency Departments

In Washington D.C., you can call 911 if you are reasonably certain the driver is drunk and is an immediate danger to themselves or others. If you are concerned but not certain, you can use 311, the non-emergency line. You can call anonymously if you prefer. While it is most helpful to report a drunk driver as soon as possible, if you need time to pull over to safety, it is still better to report a dangerous driver later than never.

Washington, D.C. Car Accident Attorneys at the Law Offices of Duane O. King Represent Victims of Drunk Driving Wrecks

Unfortunately, even when citizens are vigilant and report suspected drunk drivers, there is no way of preventing every driver from operating a vehicle under the influence. If a drunk driver caused a crash that led to your injuries, our Washington, D.C. car accident attorneys at the Law Offices of Duane O. King can help. Our dedicated accident attorneys will work tirelessly to recover compensation for your recovery. To learn more about our services, contact us online or call us at 201-331-1963 to schedule a free consultation. Located in Washington, D.C., we also serve clients throughout Maryland.