Everyone knows that drunk driving is bad but the statistics are still alarming. Every 48 minutes someone in the United States dies because of a drunk driver and experts estimate that alcohol is a factor in nearly a third of all auto accidents.
Obviously the best way to combat drunk driving is to designate a driver and not get behind the wheel after you’ve been drinking, but what if you see someone else on the road who seems impaired?
What Should You do If You See a Drunk Driver?
Maybe you watched someone do a shot and stumble out of a bar toward their vehicle, keys in hand. Or perhaps you’re already on the road and the car in front of you begins to swerve dangerously. There are many times you encounter other drivers who may be impaired and wonder exactly what your responsibility is.
When it comes to reporting drunk driving, some people think you should mind your own business. Unless you watched someone drink and then get behind the wheel, you don’t actually know if the driver is swerving because he’s drunk or because he’s extremely tired after a long day at work. Should you really call law enforcement just because of your suspicion?
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Is Reporting a Drunk Driver the Right Thing to Do?
Although reporting drunk drivers to law enforcement may seem like a drastic step, it is almost always the right call to make. Even if a driver isn’t drunk, if their actions on the road are enough to make other drivers concerned, this is when an officer should step in and evaluate the situation.
At the least, a sober driver is now alerted of their dangerous driving habits. At most, you may have helped get a drunk driver off the road and prevented an accident.
Can You Report a Drunk Driver Anonymously?
There are not many people who are happy about helping get someone arrested for DUI. If you want to report a drunk driver anonymously, you can decline to give your name to dispatch when you are making your report.
You should not feel guilty for reporting a drunk driver. A first DUI offense is a wake-up call for most people, and in most cases it won’t be a felony. As tough as it may seem, DUI laws are in place for a reason. Their enforcement is critical for keeping the roads safe for everyone.
How do You Report a Drunk Driver?
Simple—call law enforcement! Timing is crucial because every second a drunk driver is on the road can be dangerous. If something seems off to you, it’s probably best to call it in. If you are driving, make sure to pull over to dial or have a passenger make the call for you.
When you make your report, you’ll want to communicate as many details as possible about the vehicle. What does the car look like? What is happening that makes you believe the driver is drunk? In particular, you should describe where you are and what direction the vehicle is traveling.
What Number do You Call to Report a Drunk Driver?
You can dial 911 to report a drunk driver. When innocent people are sharing the road with a drunk driver, everyone’s lives are at risk. This constitutes an emergency, so it is important to report it to an emergency dispatcher as quickly as possible. Every minute you wait is another minute that someone could be seriously injured or killed.
What Happens When You Report a Drunk Driver?
After you’ve shared what you’ve seen with law enforcement, usually they will dispatch someone to the area to look for the reported vehicle. At this point, your biggest responsibility is now keeping yourself safe. Many people will want to continue to follow a driver to see if they are apprehended, but this can become a dangerous situation for many reasons.
How do You Stay Safe When You’re Sharing the Road With a Drunk Driver?
No matter what is happening, if you suspect a drunk driver is on the road with you, you should take action. Make sure your seatbelt is on and you are driving defensively. Keep a generous following distance, or turn off the road to let the driver safely pass you.
Because the NHTSA reports that most drunk driving accidents happen at night, it is always wise to use extra care at dark intersections.
Have You Been Injured in a Drunk Driving Accident?
If you were injured in an accident, contact a New Orleans drunk driving accident lawyer for a free case evaluation. We will work with you on a contingency-fee basis to gather this evidence and prove your case. You may be eligible to file a claim for medical costs, emotional distress and further damages.
DUI charges are serious business, and the consequences of a DUI can follow someone for a lifetime. However, so can the injuries and grief that result from losing someone in an accident. Every driver knows what is and isn’t safe behind the wheel, and no one should feel bad for doing their part to keep our roads as safe as possible.
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