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How to identify a drunk driver

Unfortunately, drunk driving is still a prevalent aspect of roadways. According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately one out of three vehicle crashes that occur within the United States is a result of a drunk driver. 

The police do everything they can to keep drunk drivers off the road. You should never operate a vehicle after consuming alcohol, and you should also remain vigilant yourself while driving. By being aware of the signs, you know to stay far away from the other driver and to contact the police. 

Poor judgment

It is common for drunk drivers to tailgate other vehicles. They may also merge into other lanes too quickly or too slowly. They may even drive off the road temporarily without adjusting in a prompt manner. 

Braking problems

Most people assume drunk drivers speed well over the limit. However, drunk drivers often drive fewer than 10 miles per hour under the speed limit in an attempt to appear inconspicuous. A drunk driver may also accelerate significantly for no apparent reason. 


Drunk drivers typically cannot stay in one lane. The vehicle may also straddle two lanes at the same time. Some drunk drivers strike an object or the curb off to the side of the road without stopping. In these instances where the drunk driving appears overt and dangerous, it is in your best interest to temporarily pull off to the side of the road and call the cops. 

Additional signs

Other signs of a drunk driver include:

  • Stopping at a green light
  • Stopping well before getting to a red light or stop sign
  • Driving without the headlights
  • Making wide turns

You might feel tempted to try to pass a drunk driver to just get out of the way. However, you never know if the driver will unexpectedly swerve or brake. Always keep your distance, and let the police do their jobs. 

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