Do you know how to spot a drunk driver?
Drunk drivers may be easy to spot for some experienced motorists and police officers. Yet, this article main goal is to remind drivers of all levels to learn more about the dangers of sharing the road with an impaired driver.
Drunk drivers usually brake well before the lights turn red, speed up unexpectedly, and swerve between lanes putting everyone on the road in danger.
The Centers For Disease Control and Prevention reported that 28 individuals in the U.S. die every day because of drunk driving accidents.
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Not only does this report suggests strict action from local authorities against DUI infractions, but also demands major awareness among drivers.
In this context, law enforcers recommend drivers to back off and stay away from drivers who are constantly switching lanes as they may be driving under the influence of alcohol.
Drunk Driving: Facts & Figures
As alcohol affects our ability to drive safely, find below some facts that will keep you more informed about drunk driving.
- Most states in the U.S. measures BAC (Blood Alcohol Concentration) at .08 or above to determine that a driver has violated the law.
- It takes about 3 to 4 drinks per hour (depending upon age, size, and sex) to reach 0.08 blood alcohol level.
- When it comes to minors, the legal blood alcohol limit is 0.02, which takes no more than 1 drink to achieve.
- In 2016, The Federal Bureau of Investigation reported that 1,017,808 motorists were arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or narcotics.
- In Florida, for instance, there were 43,899 DUI violations tickets in 2017 and 24,334 DUI convictions according to the DMV.
- Drunk driving costs the U.S. more than $132 billion each year.
What should you do when you encounter a drunk driver?
Someone who is driving under the influence of alcohol tends to speed up and drives erratically. Yet, the obvious reaction is to back off and stay away from any possible risk or confrontation.
You can also report the driver to the local authorities by writing down the license number, either completely or partially, and making a call with a location.
Note that you are not forced to report if that means putting your safety at risk. If you have the ability to do so, then make a report. Otherwise, keep on driving and stay away from any danger.
How do I spot a drunk driver?
As driving requires concentration and good judgement, find below a list of signs that will help you spot a drunk driver.
- Neglect headlights while driving at night
- Make illegal or unexpected turns within an extremely wide radius
- Hit or nearly hit objects, and other vehicles
- Follow erratic maneuvers and unexpected braking
- Drift, weave, and swerve between lanes dangerously
- Operate a vehicle with the face way too close to the windshield
- Drink alcohol while on the road
- Speed excessively or drive slower than the speed limit
- Fail to keep a prudent distance between cars (tailgating)
- The driver has problems with responding to traffic signals
- The driver is on the wrong side of the road
What if you were drinking too much?
Many incidents of drunk driving crashes could have been prevented by someone offering assistance.
For that reason, follow these tips to ensure you are always safe when going to an event that involves drinking and socializing.
Take a break from drinking
Typically, the body processes one drink per hour but that varies from person to person.
If you were having five drinks or more, it may be the time to take a long break before driving home.
Get some water
Switch from having another alcoholic drink to a glass of water.
Drinking water helps you get rid of the alcohol from your system.
Go for an alternative
You can always take a cab if you feel that you’ve drinking a lot. Today, you have more options as many cab services such as Uber and Lyft can be booked from your smartphone.
You could always select a designated driver, or ask a friend or colleague to give you a ride home.
Plan your journey ahead of time
If you are planning to go to an event and have some drinks there, book a cab or simply ask a friend to offer you a ride.
Keep some money with you to cover transportation or limit the number of drinks you’ll be getting once you get to the event.