Drunk driver statistics from the NHTSA have shown that for every drunk driving arrest, another 500 incidents go unpunished. In fact, the average drunk driver will operate a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol 80 times before finally getting arrested and charged with their first DWI.
Texas already has strict punishments related to drunk driving. Many people wonder if more severe penalties make people think twice before hitting the road when intoxicated. Brad Parker doesn’t think so. “You may have a sub-group that would be deterred by stricter penalties, but most people who drink and drive are not thinking rationally about the repercussions. Education is much more effective than punishment in my opinion,” he says.
Drunk drivers are a risk to everyone on the road, including themselves. Learning to spot and avoid a drunk driver is an important key to keeping yourself and your loved ones safe. We all share a responsibility to report inebriated drivers to the police. If you’re out on the road, especially late at night or driving home after a holiday gathering, keep an eye out for these five warning signs that another driver might be intoxicated.
This driving behavior is the easiest to spot. It’s also the first sign that police officers will look for when they are seeking to get drunk drivers off the road. While driving in a straight line is simple, it’s not that easy when you can’t focus on the road in front of you because you’ve had one too many alcoholic beverages.
2. Excessive Braking and Slow Acceleration
Intoxicated drivers will typically overcompensate by taking things slow. This is demonstrated through braking early and often and by taking a long time reaching the speed limit. This slow driving makes the driver a hazard to others who don’t expect someone to drive so conservatively on a highway with a speed limit of 70 mph.
3. Hugging the Center Line
A drunk driver will overcompensate and attempt to avoid swerving by playing it safe and hugging the center line.
4. Persistent Tailgating
Drunk drivers will sometimes follow the vehicle in front of them too closely, attempting to hide the fact that they are impaired. If another car rides your bumper, even if you speed up or slow down and even if there’s an empty passing lane waiting for them, it could be a case of driver intoxication.
5. Serious Driving Violations
If a driver has really had too much to drink, they won’t be able to follow even the simplest of driving laws. This includes basic things like failing to turn on their headlights, signaling left when turning right, driving the wrong way down a one-way street, or stopping at an intersection when they have the right of way.
WHAT TO DO IF YOU SUSPECT ANOTHER DRIVER IS DRUNK
Step One: Put as much distance between yourself and the other driver as possible. Don’t try to pass the vehicle or get the driver’s attention. That will only put yourself and others at risk of being in a crash.
Step Two: Try to get a good look at the license plate number and any other details about the vehicle (make, model, color).
Step Three: Call 911. Give the exact location of the vehicle and the direction the vehicle is traveling. Give as complete a description as possible, and then leave the rest up to law enforcement. Brad says, “Never attempt to engage the other driver if you suspect they are inebriated. It’s probable that they will behave unpredictably.”
Have You Been Injured In A Texas Area Car Accident?
If you’ve been injured in a car accident you need to speak with an experienced car accident lawyer as soon as possible. Contact us online or call our Bedford, Texas office directly at 817.440.3888 to schedule your free consultation. We help car accident victims throughout Dallas, Fort Worth, Arlington as well as all areas of Texas.
At Parker Law Firm, our experienced personal injury lawyers believe people matter. We are committed to our clients, not case numbers, and we believe in the power of the civil justice system. With years spent both representing accident victims and participating in the state legislative process, our founder, Brad Parker, has developed a deep understanding of the law and gained unique experience that helps him get results for his clients.