Reporting Drunk Drivers
Witnessing a drunk driver entering a vehicle, or seeing a possible drunk driver passing you on the roadway and not making the effort to report the incident is tantamount to refusing to call for help after seeing a loaded gun pointed at someone’s head.
The second a driver under the influence gets behind that wheel, someone’s life is in immediate danger. By reporting a drunk driver, or possible drunk driver, you could potentially save a life.
Reporting drunk drivers helps officials catch offenders. Research suggests that the average first-time DUI offender has driven drunk on multiple occasions before getting caught for the first time. Unfortunately, there’s a great chance that if a driver seems like they are driving under the influence, he or she probably is. It is vital to report a possible DUI to prevent a possible disaster.
Officials have had a lot of success with citizens reporting drunk drivers. Due to this success, many states have enacted new laws and created programs to reduce alcohol-related accidents through citizen-reporting projects. The groups and classes that are part of these programs designate specific community members to assist in the reporting of probable DUI violators on neighborhood roads. Selected members are taught what signs to watch for and are asked to call in possible drunk drivers.
But, anyone can and should help report drunk driving or any feasible DUI incident. It’s impossible for law enforcement officials to be everywhere at once, but public cooperation in reporting can help further deter drunk driving.
It is important to know the kinds of signs to look for in determining an incidence of driving under the influence. If you see a driver doing any of these unordinary things, contact the proper authorities (911, local police, state sheriffs, etc.) immediately:
- Appearing to be drunk based on gestures, behavior, stance, or posture
- Weaving and/or swerving
- Hitting an object or another vehicle
- Driving off the road
- Driving with the windows rolled down in cold weather
- Passing recklessly
- Braking excessively
- Braking late and abruptly for signs and signals
- Accelerating speed quickly
- Not staying in one lane
- Overturning or making very wide turns
- Speeding excessively or driving way under the limit
- Following too close
- Not turning on headlights at night
- Not using directionals
- Not turning on wipers when it’s raining
When calling, be prepared to quickly tell the dispatcher or officer the following:
- Location of the incident
- Direction the vehicle was heading
- Make, model, and color of the car
- License plate number of the vehicle
Furthermore, if you know for certain that a friend or acquaintance has gotten behind the wheel drunk despite advising against it; do not hesitate to contact law officials. There is no need to feel guilty when you could be saving your friend’s life and the lives of others. If you wish to make the call anonymously, that is always an option. In this very serious situation, it is always better to be safe than sorry.