Knowing the signs of a drunk driver helps motorists protect themselves. If possible, they should gather data about the driver and car, and call 911.
Law enforcement in Huntsville conducts periodic DUI checkpoints as a way to discourage people from drinking and driving. In spite of these and other efforts, people still continue to operate their vehicles after consuming alcohol. For example, officials say that a man driving the wrong way on Interstate 565 in May 2016 was drunk when he killed three people in a head-on crash. The best thing drivers can do to protect themselves and others on the road is to never drive under the influence. Meanwhile, being aware of the signs of an intoxicated driver and knowing what to do can also be helpful.
The signs of a drunk driver
There are many indicators that someone may be driving under the influence of alcohol. Key signs of a drunk driver include:
- Abrupt turns
- Driving on the wrong side of the road
- Swerving and stopping for no apparent reason
Strange signaling, driving on top of lane markers and nearly hitting other cars, people or objects are also strong indicators. At night, drivers under the influence may have their headlights switched off.
Actions to take
When motorists notice someone engaging in the above behaviors, a few steps are imperative, but they should all be done with safety in mind. As an example, recording the other car’s license plate number, as well as the car’s color, make and model is extremely helpful, but drivers should not attempt to gather that information if doing so would be unsafe.
The main thing is for the alert motorist to keep a healthy distance from the possibly drunk driver. There should be no engagement of any kind, for example, no honking horns to get the other motorist to stop or no passing the car. Last but not least, the observant driver should pull over in a safe location and dial 911. The dispatcher will want to know information about the other car, along with the cross streets or roads where it was seen; callers should relay other vital information, such as whether other people or children were in the car.
Proactive safety moves
There are a few general tips that motorists can use to protect themselves. For one thing, refraining from driving late at night and in the wee hours of the morning, particularly on weekends and holidays, decreases the likelihood of encountering a drunk driver. Furthermore, wearing a seat belt is a must. Safe driving practices such as following other cars at a respectable distance and driving the speed limit are also important. Paying attention at intersections also helps drivers be more aware of others who may careen through a red light or stop sign.
Being involved in a car crash is a frightening experience. People in Alabama who have been injured by a suspected drunk driver should consider getting in touch with an attorney who can advise them of their rights and options.