If you notice a driver on the roadway who seems to be impaired, it is imperative that you do what you can to keep yourself safe first. Here, we want to discuss the steps that you can take if you notice an impaired or suspected impaired driver on the roadway.
The priority after you see a suspected drunk driver is to make sure that you are safe. In these situations, the only thing you can fully control is your own actions. Defensive driving must be the priority. You should not stay very close to a suspected impaired driver. Unfortunately, drunk driving is a leading cause of vehicle accidents throughout every state in the US. These incidents have a higher rate of fatalities and serious injuries than other types of accidents. Your safety is the priority.
If you have deemed that you are safe, you can dial 911 on your phone. We suggest that you use some type of Bluetooth or hands-free technology to call the police about a suspected drunk driver. Some important things to remember are jurisdiction period when you dial 911, you should be put through to the local police department, but you may be relayed to a county or state dispatch center. Sometimes, these dispatchers will shuffle you around from one department to another, depending on who has jurisdiction in the area where the suspected drunk driver is located.
When you get on the phone with the correct dispatcher, you need to relay as much information as possible about the suspected drunk driver and of the vehicle they are operating. This can include the make, model, and color of the vehicle as well as any physical descriptors of the driver if you’re able to see the driver at all. Relay the license plate number if you can see it.
It is important to understand that you should not go out of your way to put yourself in any danger when trying to gather identifying information about the driver or the vehicle.
No matter what type of safety risk you think the suspected impaired driver poses to the public, do not chase them. Do not follow them. Try and remember as much information as possible about the suspected impaired driver, and if they turn to go in a direction that you would otherwise not be going, let them go. Relay as much information as possible to the police so they can handle the matter from there. Police officers are trained to handle these situations.
If you have been injured in an accident caused by the actions of a driver you suspect was impaired by alcohol or drugs, you need to reach out to an attorney as soon as possible. A lawyer will fully investigate the claim and handle any interactions with the insurance carriers and other officials. Often, these cases hinge on whether or not a driver was cited for impaired driving, so an attorney will work with law enforcement officials to obtain these records.