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How to Identify and Report a DUI

By Allen Flatt Ballidis & Leslie on May 19, 2020

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If you are like most people, you have probably had the experience of being on the road with a drunk driver. It can be a scary feeling, knowing that you cannot predict or trust their behavior. Your first instinct may have been to get as far away from that vehicle as possible, and this is the best method to avoiding a collision. If you happen to spot a driver who appears to be intoxicated or impaired, reporting it to the police could also help save their life, as well as the lives of innocent people sharing the road.

Identifying an Intoxicated or Impaired Driver

Alcohol or drugs can severely impact a driver’s response rate, sense of distance and speed, and decision-making abilities. When driving, these traits may present themselves as:

  • Inability to maintain posted speed limits, or erratically speeding up or slowing down
  • Inability to stay in one lane
  • Inability to quickly respond to traffic lights or signs
  • Dangerous or illegal turns, often into oncoming traffic
  • Driving too closely to other drivers
  • Not using their vehicle’s headlights or turn signals

Any one of these actions could cause a serious car accident and should be avoided at all costs.

Avoiding a Collision With a Drunk Driver

Once you have identified a drunk driver, your next action should be to keep yourself, your passengers, and fellow drivers safe. The best method is to avoid the driver altogether, either by letting them pass you, changing lanes, or taking an alternative route to stay away from them. If you happen to get their license plate number and any identifying aspect of their vehicle (year, manufacturer, color, decals, etc.), then you will want to report that information to the police. In addition, you should not try to drive near the impaired driver, as your good intentions may put you in the middle of a traffic accident.

Reporting an Impaired Driver

After you have reached a safe distance from the impaired driver, contact the authorities by calling 911. The safest option is to pull to the side of the road to make the call, but you may use a hands-free device as well. Once you have gotten ahold of an operator, provide all the details about the driver and their vehicle that you can recall. It is also very important to tell them what road the driver was on (including cross-streets) and what direction they were going.

What Can You Do If You Have Been Injured by a Drunk or Impaired Driver?

Accidents involving impaired drivers are more often than not extremely dangerous. The driver may not brake or slow down to avoid an accident, resulting in the full force of their vehicle crashing into another car. If you were injured in a car accident caused by a drunk driver, report the accident to the police and get medical attention for your injuries at once. It is also important to get the driver’s insurance information, if possible.

After receiving medical care, the best course of action is to speak with an experienced lawyer as soon as possible. Our Orange County auto accident attorneys at Allen Flatt Ballidis & Leslie can:

  • Investigate the crash to determine fault and liability
  • Interview eyewitnesses to the accident
  • Secure and preserve evidence to support your claim
  • Build a strong case based on the facts and the evidence
  • Negotiate skillfully with the other side on your behalf
  • Fight for the compensation you deserve in court, if necessary

Call us at (949) 752-7474 to schedule a free consultation with a team of dedicated legal advocates.

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Posted in: Drunk Driving


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