It’s hard to know for sure if someone else on the road is driving while intoxicated. You’ve had no real contact with that person. You’re simply observing the way that they drive.
That said, the police identify drunk drivers by their actions all the time. They need to have a reason to pull those drivers over. You can also spot the likely signs that a driver is impaired when you’re out there on the road. Look for signs like:
- Braking suddenly
- Turning without a blinker
- Driving into the oncoming lane, then returning
- Swerving on the road
- Making very wide, slow turns
- Not following traffic signals properly
- Driving with the headlights off
- Making abrupt and dangerous movements
Often, you may start to suspect that someone is drunk just because the way that they’re driving doesn’t make much sense. It looks strange. They make mistakes that have no reason behind them. You feel like they’re not in control.
If you see this, what should you do? Your first priority should be to avoid that driver. You can’t predict their next mistake. Near-misses are common before accidents. Give yourself space and drive defensively so that you can avoid a crash.
Never try to stop a driver you suspect of being impaired on your own. If you have a passenger with you, have them call the police. If necessary, pull over and call the police yourself. Let them handle it. You can focus on safety.
Despite your best efforts, that intoxicated driver may still cause an accident, or they may hit you before you realize anything is wrong. If so, be sure you know how to seek compensation for medical bills and other costs.