Driving under the influence is nothing to take lightly. People receive injuries and even lose their lives every day due to the fact that people drive when they are not supposed to.

Impaired drivers exhibit a variety of behaviors when they are behind the wheel. If other drivers recognize erratic driving, they should call law enforcement to keep others safe.

The problem of drunk driving

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, almost 30 people die every hour from accidents involving impaired drivers. The associated damages cost multiple billions of dollars each year.

Although the legal blood alcohol limit is .08, some people begin to exhibit impaired symptoms even before reaching this limit, while others have a higher tolerance and do not notice impairment until the BAC limit is higher. Even with lower limits, driving effects may include divided attention, visual impairment, reduced coordination, slow response time and concentration problems. If a driver is operating a vehicle at higher BAC limits, it is even harder to control the vehicle and pay attention.

How to spot an impaired driver

Many of the effects that alcohol use can cause are apparent to other drivers on the road. According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving, there are certain signs that indicate an impaired driver. These include:

  • Drifting from one lane to another
  • Swerving
  • Slow response or quick acceleration
  • Inconsistent signaling
  • Driving without headlights when it is dark outside
  • Driving excessively slow

If another driver, passenger or pedestrian observes these behaviors, gathering as much information as possible is helpful for law enforcement. Only when it is safe to do so, the person should note the color and make of the car as well as the license plate number, observed behaviors and location. The eyewitness should then call 911 and report the driver.