November 13, 2013
No law in Indiana requires you to report a drunk driver if you see one. However, doing so could potentially save a life, and many Hoosiers want to report such reckless driving. But how do you report a drunk driver?
If you notice a driver you suspect is impaired, call 911 to report it to the police. Be prepared to provide as many details as possible.
When calling in a drunk driver to the police, have this info at the ready:
- Location of the vehicle
- Direction it’s traveling
- Name of the road
- Cross streets
- Other identifying markers
- Plate number
- A description of the vehicle – color, make, model, and anything else that could help identify it
Rust on the paneling of a door, a dented bumper, and other details can be very helpful in locating the vehicle. Also provide a description of the person driving, if possible.
Provide an account of the driver’s actions behind the wheel that led you to suspect he or she is drunk. An example would be seeing the driver drift in and out of a lane or witnessing erratic driving behavior. Obviously, if you see the driver actually drinking alcohol, report that as well. There are many other drunk driving signs, so make sure you report any you notice to the police.
If you’re worried about protecting your privacy, know that you can choose to report drunk driving anonymously.
While you’re driving near a drunk driver, there are a few things you should do to protect yourself. If the car is in front of you in the same lane, change lanes and increase your following distance. If the car is behind you, change lanes, slow down, and let them pass. It’s better for you to be behind them so you can react to their movements.
Don’t antagonize the drunk driver, either. You may be (rightfully) angry that someone would do something so reckless and put other people’s lives at risk. Don’t express that anger to the drunk driver, and make sure your anger doesn’t impair your driving, either.
Try not to interact with the drunk driver at all. Even something as small as eye contact could cause a drunk driver to behave unpredictably. Again, it’s best to stay behind the drunk driver and in another lane of traffic, if possible. Make sure you maintain a safe following distance so you don’t end up alongside the drunk driver and risk an interaction.
What If I Get into a Car Accident with a Drunk Driver?
If you get into an accident with a drunk driver, be sure to call 911 like you would for any other accident. When the police arrive, be sure to tell an officer that you suspect the other driver was driving while intoxicated. Give details about the behavior that led to the accident and why you believe such behavior is indicative of intoxication.
The police may conduct a sobriety test and charge the driver with drunk driving. If you plan on pursing a personal injury claim against the other driver, the insurance company will look at the police report to determine who is at fault for the accident. Having the police report state that the driver was driving while intoxicated and having an official charge against the driver will help prove that you weren’t at fault for the accident.
Help from an Indiana Car Accident Lawyer
If you’ve been injured in a car accident with a drunk driver, Hensley Legal Group can help. Call us today or contact us online for a free consultation. Be sure to check out our Consumer’s Guide for Injured Victims for more information about handling a car accident case.