Which Symptoms Indicate Drunk Driving?
Drunk drivers are not only dangerous, but they are also a threat to other drivers on the road. This is why it is important to know what to look for when identifying drunk driving behaviors.
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The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration lists several cues that may indicate a driver is under the influence of alcohol. Some of these signs can be seen easily from a distance, while others require a closer look.
1. Weaving or Swerving
If you notice a driver making a sudden swerving motion, such as hugging the shoulder of the road, crossing over the center line or completely veering into oncoming traffic, they are probably under the influence. This can cause a severe accident or even death, depending on the severity of the swerving.
2. Changing Speeds
Sometimes, intoxicated drivers will speed up or slow down, even though the posted speed limit is the same. This is because they have difficulty concentrating on the driving task at hand and aren’t aware of how fast they are going.
3. Driving in the Wrong Lane
Many intoxicated drivers drive the wrong way on the roads, and this is especially dangerous for other vehicles that are traveling in the same direction as them. This is often due to fatigue, but it can also be caused by a number of other reasons.
4. Driving with Headlights Off in the Dark
Drunk drivers often forget to turn on their headlights at night, and this can be extremely dangerous for other drivers. This is because their impaired ability to see can cause them to lose control of their vehicle or crash into other vehicles on the road.
Another common sign that a driver is under the influence of alcohol is tailgating. This occurs when a driver follows another car too closely because they are confused or have a misguided sense of invincibility. This can lead to a crash if the other driver makes a sudden stop.
6. Driving Off the Road
When a driver is intoxicated, they will frequently drive off the roadway or into areas that are not meant for vehicles. This can be particularly dangerous if they are in a hurry and cannot control their vehicle.
7. Refusal to Take a Breathalyzer
Some people refuse to take a breathalyzer or blood test when they are pulled over, which can be a good indication that they are under the influence of alcohol. This can be a serious offense and can result in jail time or other penalties.
8. Uncombed Hair and Wrinkled Clothes
Some people will not make the effort to get their hair and clothes in order before they start drinking. This can be because they have been drinking for a while and are tired or simply don’t care about how they look.
10. Talking Differently
Some intoxicated drivers will talk differently than they normally would, or they will be very defensive when asked questions by the police officer. They may have a very hard time remembering what they did or where they were going before being stopped.