How to Spot a Drunk Driver on the Road

How to spot a drunk driver

How to Spot a Drunk Driver

Drinking and driving don’t mix. According to the California Highway Patrol’s 2012 Annual report, 1,169 people were killed and 23,905 were injured in vehicle accidents where alcohol was a factor. Not only is it important to be sober while behind the wheel, but also to watch out for other drivers who may be drunk. These warning signs from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) are common actions of intoxicated drivers, which can be used to help you detect these drivers on the road:

  • Problems maintaining proper lane position: weaving, weaving across lane lines, straddling a lane line, swerving, turning with a wide radius, drifting, almost striking a vehicle or other object
  • Speed and braking problems: problems stopping, accelerating or decelerating for no apparent reason, varying speed, slow speed
  • Vigilance problems: driving in opposing lanes or going the wrong way on a one-way street, slow response to traffic signals, stopping in lane for no apparent reason, driving without headlights at night, failure to signal or take actions inconsistent with signal
  • Judgment problems: following too closely, improper or unsafe lane changes, illegal or improper turns, driving on paths other than designated roadways, inappropriate or unusual behavior, appearing to be impaired

Reporting Drunk Drivers

If you notice a driver who is showing any of these signs, you have the option to report them to the police as a suspected DWI. These reports can be made directly to 911, and you will need to provide information regarding the: location, direction the car was going, make/model/color of the car, and the vehicle license plate number. Your safety should be your top priority. To avoid being hit, make sure you are a safe distance away from the suspected drunk driver.

If you have been hit by a drunk driver, call 1-800-THE-LAW2 to speak with a 1-800-THE-LAW2 car accident lawyer. A 1-800-THE-LAW2 lawyer can maximize your compensation while saving you stress, time, and money. Its risk free, you get paid or you don’t pay at all! Calling 1-800-THE-LAW2 is easy. We’re open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and have intake specialists ready to help you in English and Spanish.


  1. California Highway Patrol. Alcohol Involved Collisions. Retrieved January 8, 2015.
  2. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. (2010). The Visual Detection of DWI Motorists [PDF file]. Page 5. Retrieved from