With the holidays right around the corner, the chances of encountering a drunk driver on the road are going up. It’s an unfortunate fact that you can be the most responsible driver in the world, yet still wind up in a drunk driving accident caused by other drivers. But you can strive to identify when someone is driving drunk and do your best to avoid them – and call 911 to notify law enforcement.
On December 28, 2018, Utah became the first state in America to lower the legal blood alcohol content limit from the previous 0.08 percent to 0.05 percent. This is a move to decrease the amount of drunk drivers on Utah roads, but drunk driving persists – often at well above the legal limit.
5 Tell-Tale Signs of a Drunk Driver
1. Driver is swerving the car back and forth.
A consistently swerving car is the stereotypical sign of a drunk driver for good reason. Swerving is one of the most common ways to tell that someone has had too much to drink before driving. Alcohol consumption can lead to difficulty focusing on the task at hand and make a driver easily distracted. The result is swerving as they veer one way then overcorrect the other way.
2. They stay close to the center line.
Not every drunken driver is going to swerve their car back and forth. Some are aware enough of the risks of swerving – like getting arrested for drunk driving – that they will instead drive as close to the center line as possible. This behavior also looks strange, particularly when it is persistent mile after mile. Although sticking to the center line might be safer than swerving, the driver is still intoxicated and a risk to themselves and others when behind the wheel.
3. Following too closely to the car ahead.
Different drunk drivers have different strategies for navigating the road – since they can’t do it normally, they have to compensate somehow. Tailgating is another of those strategies. They think that if they just mimic the car in front of them they will stay between the lines and avoid notice from law enforcement. The problem is, they are not very good at making fine adjustments so they may follow too closely. This is dangerous behavior because all it takes is a hard stop in front to cause a rear-end collision.
What Should You Do if You Spot a Drunk Driver
The first thing you should always do is drive in such a way that you can avoid them. After that, pull off the road to a safe location and call 911. Give the operator a description of the vehicle and the location – the license plate number is helpful as well, but don’t take risks to get it. Your phone call could help prevent a drunk driving accident and save lives.
What if the Drunk Driver Hit Your Vehicle?
If you were hit by a drunk driver, immediately call 911. Once you have given a report to law enforcement and had your medical needs attended to, we recommend you contact us. The consultation is free, and our Utah drunk driving accident attorney can help you determine if you should take legal action. We know how to stand up to insurance companies and we know how to build a winning case.
Please contact us today at Carlson Injury Law using our secure online form or by calling (801) 845-4577. Let us stand up for you!