There are many reasons for motor vehicle accidents, and they can have devastating consequences such as injuries and even death. Getting behind the wheel after drinking too much alcohol is one cause of crashes, and this is preventable.
Intoxicated drivers exhibit certain behaviors that can be quite obvious on the road. Being able to spot these drivers and report them to authorities may help save someone’s life.
Drunk driving stats and information
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, more than 10,000 people die every year due to drunk drivers. Compared to all fatal crashes, there is alcohol involvement in over 25% of the cases.
Because of the effects alcohol has on the ability to operate a motor vehicle, it is illegal to drive if someone has a blood alcohol level of .08 or higher. The amount of drinks it takes to reach this limit varies based on factors such as gender, weight, food intake and medication use. Even a low BAC begins to affect driving ability, as there is some judgment loss and divided attention.
How to spot a drunk driver
The best way to get a drunk driver off the road is to identify the signs of impaired driving and report the driver. The organization Mothers Against Drunk Driving points out some typical signs of a potentially drunk driver. Some obvious ones are drifting into other lanes, swerving or driving between two lanes. Other signs include driving too close to another car, driving much slower than the speed limit, braking erratically or driving without headlights at night.
If another driver suspects someone is driving while intoxicated, it helps to get the vehicle’s information, but only if it is safe to do so. Helpful information includes the license plate; make, model and color of car; observed behaviors and any other descriptive info. The person who made these observations should call 911 and report the vehicle’s information as well as the location.