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What will you do if you spot a drunk driver?

You’re driving down the street and doing your best to remain safe when suddenly you spot someone who appears to be under the influence of alcohol.

Your first thought may be to tell the person to pull over or attempt to slow them down on your own. While your heart is in the right place, doing so will only make matters worse.

If you fear that someone is operating a vehicle while intoxicated, here’s what you should do:

  • Maintain a safe distance: The closer you drive to someone who is intoxicated, the greater chance there is of an accident. Maintain a safe distance, either by falling back or traveling up the road ahead.
  • Take a description of the vehicle: This typically includes the make, model, color and license plate number.
  • Mark your location: Get a basic idea of where you are located, such as mile markers or exits on the highway or cross streets in a city setting.
  • Call 911: After explaining what you’ve seen, the dispatcher will ask for more information on the vehicle. This is when you’ll provide your description, along with your current location. The more information you provide, the easier it becomes for a police officer in the area to find the driver and take the necessary action.

What does a drunk driver look like?

There is no simple answer to this question, but here are some of the most common signs that someone is too drunk to be behind the wheel:

  • Driving extremely slowly
  • Swerving and/or difficulty staying in their lane of travel
  • Driving on the wrong side of the road
  • Driving the wrong way on a one way road
  • Making sudden turns
  • Failure to respond to traffic signals in a timely manner

Even if you do your best to avoid an accident with a drunk driver, this could happen out of nowhere. If it does, stay where you are, call 911 to request help and receive immediate medical treatment.

Your health and recovery comes first, but you should do your best to file an insurance claim in a timely manner. This will put you on track to protecting your legal rights and obtaining compensation for your injuries and associated damages.