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  Police Department
7/21/2010 - Tips for Identifying and Reporting Drunk Drivers

Listed below are suggestions by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration as ways to distinguish between nighttime drunk and sober drivers.

  • Turning with a wide radius.
  • Straddling the center of the road or lane marker.
  • Appearing to be drunk (i.e., eye fixation, face close to windshield, drinking in the vehicle).
  • Almost striking an object or other vehicle.
  • Weaving or zigzagging across the road.
  • Driving on other than a designated roadway.
  • Swerving or abruptly turning away from a generally straight course.
  • Turning abruptly or illegally.
  • Driving slower than 10 mph below speed limit.
  • Stopping without cause in a traffic lane.
  • Stopping inappropriately (other than in lane).
  • Following others too closely.
  • Drifting or moving in a straight-line at a slight angle to the roadway.
  • Erratic braking.
  • Driving into opposing or crossing traffic.
  • Signaling that is inconsistent with driving actions.
  • Slow response to traffic signals (sudden stop, delayed start).
  • Driving with headlights off.

How to Report a Drunk Driver

Call the police or 911 or 1-800-28DRUNK. Once connected with a law enforcement agency, provide them with the following information:

  • Tell them you wish to report a suspected drunk driver.
  • Give the exact location (identify road and direction) of the vehicle.
  • Give a complete description of the vehicle, such as make, model, color, license number, etc.
  • Describe the manner in which the vehicle is being driven.

What NOT To Do

  • Do not attempt to stop the vehicle.
  • Do not attempt to follow if the vehicle is exceeding the posted limit or if any other hazard may exist due to following the vehicle.
  • Do not disregard any traffic signals in an attempt to keep the driver in view.
  • Do not follow the drunk driver too closely because they may stop suddenly.
  • Do not get so engrossed in following the drunk driver that you begin weaving in the road with the drunk driver.
  • Do not attempt to detain the drunk driver if they stop.
  • Do not attempt to act in the capacity of any police, fire or medical person unless you are properly trained and authorized to perform that function.
  • Do not attempt to assist any law enforcement officer while they are apprehending a drunk driver unless requested.

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