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How to spot a drunk driver on the road

There may come a point while driving that you spot a person who appears intoxicated. Since this person is a danger to everyone on the road, it's critical to leave as much space between your two vehicles as possible.

While there is no surefire way to spot a drunk driver, there are a few signs that often point toward a person driving under the influence of alcohol:

  • Tailgating
  • Quick deceleration or acceleration
  • Weaving and drifting
  • Striking or almost striking an object, such as a parked vehicle or curb
  • Driving without headlights at night
  • Slow response to a changing traffic signal
  • Stopping without cause
  • Driving extremely fast or slow
  • Driving the wrong way on a one-way road
  • Illegal or abrupt turns

Just because you spot someone doing one or more of the above doesn't necessarily mean they're drunk. However, they're not driving safely, so you'll want to keep your distance.

As you take steps to protect yourself, here are some other things to consider:

  • Take down the license place number, make and model of the vehicle: This information will come in handy if you want to report the driver to the police.
  • Pull over and call 911: With identifying information, you can then call 911 to report what you're seeing. The dispatcher will request a variety of details, including your exact location.

Once you call 911, you can leave the scene and let police do their job.

The one thing you don't want to do is take matters into your own hands. For example, don't yell at the driver or attempt to pull them over. If the person is intoxicated, this increases the risk of an accident and/or verbal or physical altercation.

Even if you're skilled at spotting drunk drivers, you could still be part of an accident with one of these individuals.

If a drunk driver causes an accident that results in injuries to you and/or your passengers, call 911 for help and then seek medical treatment.

Once your health is stable, you can contact your insurance company and formulate a plan for seeking compensation from the negligent driver.

Learn the legal steps to take if you're injured (or a loved one is killed) in a drunk driving accident in Colorado.

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