Facts about Impaired Driving

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Impaired Driving - How big is the Problem

Drinking and driving is a serious and growing problem. Drunk driving accounts for approximately one third of all traffic deaths in the United States. Approximately 30 people die every day from a car collision that involves an intoxicated driver.

While drunk driving is dangerous for everyone, young people are the most affected. Because young people are less experienced as drivers and are more likely to engage in reckless behavior, they are more likely to get behind wheel when they are too drunk to drive safely. In fact approximately 1 out of 3 drivers who were involved in a fatal car accident, who were later found to have a BAC of .08% or higher, were between the ages of 21 and 24.

Identifying an Impaired Driver

Since driving impaired is so risky, it is extremely valuable for every driver to know how to spot someone who is too impaired to drive. Impaired drivers typically drive erratically and don't pay attention to road lines, other drivers, and traffic signals. Watch out for someone who is swerving from side to side on the road or straddles the center divider. Drunk drivers may also drive far below the posted speed limit and brake frequently for seemingly no reason. Other warning signs include failure to drive with headlights, following too closely, and taking extremely wide turns.

If you suspect that a driver on the road is impaired, record their license plate number and call your local police station immediately.

Dos and Don'ts of Identifying a Drunk Driver

When you identify an impaired driver, you should

  • Put plenty of space in between you and the drunk driver
  • Make certain that you and all of your passengers have their safety belts on
  • Note the location, direction of travel, and license plate of the driver
  • Pull over and call the police to report the drunk driver

You should never:

  • Attempt to pass the vehicle
  • Try to stop the car
  • Follow too closely
  • Confront the driver that's the job of the police

As always, when dealing with drunk drivers you should exercise extreme caution.

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