How to Report a Drunk Driver

Despite significant public efforts to raise awareness regarding the dangers of drunk driving, intoxicated drivers continue to cause a large percentage of automobile accidents today. If you see a driver on the road who you know is drunk or you suspect to be drunk, it is imperative that you alert the authorities and head off a tragedy before it occurs.

How can you spot a drunk driver?

Drunk drivers may:

  • turn widely
  • drive below the speed limit to seem less suspicious
  • weave across the road
  • drive in the center of the road straddling both lanes
  • hit or almost hit road signs and other vehicles
  • stop abruptly or fail to stop
  • drive without their headlights on when headlights are appropriate
  • respond slowly
  • drive in the wrong lane
  • veer onto the sidewalk
  • and more

Drunk drivers can also visibly appear drunk to those who get a look at them—they may be slumped over the wheel, have glassy eyes, and exhibit other signs of intoxication.

What should you do when you see a driver who is drunk or appears to be drunk?

a police officer with a driver at a dui checkpoint

First, call 911 and respond to all prompts. Do not go after the driver yourself! If the driver is drunk, pursuing him or her exposes you to a greater risk of crashing your own vehicle. There is also a risk of a direct physical confrontation occurring if you attempt to stop the driver. Furthermore, if an officer apprehends the suspect, there is a greater chance of a DUI conviction later on. So, leave the policing to the police!

When you call 911, remember that police dispatchers receive a large influx of calls and that the line may initially be busy addressing higher-priority phone calls. Stay on the line! When you talk to a law enforcement professional, you do not have to provide your name if you do not wish to. Provide a description of the vehicle being driven by a drunk driver. This should include the vehicle type, color, make, model, distinguishing features such as bumper stickers, and if possible, license plate number. Then provide the approximate location of the vehicle, the last place you saw it, and the direction in which you believe it to be headed. It is also helpful to explain why you believe the driver is drunk. Police should be dispatched shortly and the driver should be apprehended as soon as possible.

Unfortunately, many drunk drivers inflict harm on others before they are reported—and that’s if they’re reported at all. If you or someone you know has been injured as the result of an auto accident involving a drunk driver, Bruce Hagen can help. Mr. Hagen is an experienced personal injury lawyer, and he and his law firm have more than thirty years of professional expertise fighting for justice on the part of the unfairly injured. Again, if you or someone you know has been injured in an accident where a drunk driver was involved, and you live in the metro Atlanta area, call the law firm of Bruce Hagen now. We can get you the compensation you deserve!