The holiday season is a time for celebration. Everyone is out attending holiday parties and gatherings with their co-workers, friends, and family. They’re full of joy and cheer during this most wonderful time of year.
Unfortunately, all of the celebrating also often includes alcohol. And the holidays are one of the worst times of the year for drunk driving. Take a look at some of the statistics provided by MADD on drunk driving. Suffice it to say, this is a serious problem.
The risks and consequences for drunk driving are serious and they shouldn’t be taken lightly. If someone drives while under the influence of alcohol they could face serious penalties that include expensive fines, license suspension or revocation, jail time, injury, and even death.
If you’re going to be out this holiday season and New Years Eve: traveling, going to parties, shopping, or participating in holiday activities, it’s important to know the signs of an intoxicated driver. It’s also important to know how to avoid intoxicated drivers and what you should do if you see one.
How Can I Tell Someone is Driving Drunk?
When you’re driving, it’s necessary to give the road your full attention to be prepared for safety hazards along the way. A drunk driver is a safety hazard. So you should be familiar with common signs of intoxication when you’re driving. Some of these signs include:
- Quickly speeding up or slowing down
- Weaving across the road and in between cars
- Not staying in their traffic lane
- Suddenly braking for no reason
- Driving off the road or onto a curb, sidewalk, or shoulder of the road
- Almost hitting an object
- Delayed response to traffic lights and signs
- Driving without their lights on at night
- Driving below the speed limit
- Making abrupt or illegal turns
- Driving on the wrong side of the road into opposing traffic
- Using the wrong signals
What Should I Do If I See a Drunk Driver?
Many times when you’ve been out driving, you’ve probably seen another driver exhibit signs of intoxication. This is a scary situation, and as a concerned driver, you’ve probably thought, What can I do about this?
If you’re on the road and you see a drunk driver, there are some steps you can take to ensure that the driver doesn’t endanger you or anyone else.
- Stay as far away from the car as you can.
- Avoid passing the vehicle or trying to get the driver to pull over. If you attempt to do this, you could possibly get into a crash.
- Take note of the car’s license plate and any details about the car, such as the make, model, and color. Don’t attempt to get this information, though, if it will compromise your driving or your safety.
- Safely pull over and call 911. Give the dispatcher as much information as you can. You’ll want to give the exact location of the car including any streets or crossroads and the direction the car is going. You’ll also want to give a description of the car and explain what you witnessed the driver doing.
If you are drinking please do not drive. With taxis or an Uber driver literally a few taps of the smart-phone away, there is really no excuse.
By paying attention to the other drivers on the road, you should be able to determine if they’re displaying signs of intoxication. If you happen to see a drunk driver, it’s important to primarily stay safe, and, only if safe to do so, alert law enforcement to make sure the driver doesn’t do any harm. And if you do find yourself involved in an accident with a drunk driver, contact a North Miami Beach car injury lawyer as soon as possible. No one should ever have to pay for someone else’s mistake, and you may be entitled to compensation to help you recover from injuries.
From all of us at Neufeld, Kleinberg & Pinkiert, PA, Happy Holidays and Happy New Year! Stay safe.