When you believe you are driving near an intoxicated driver in Ohio, you cannot stop them yourself, but you can take some important steps to improve your safety and report the drunk driver to save others from danger.
First, know how to spot a potentially drunk driver. Here are a few characteristics of intoxicated driving.
- Swerving between lanes
- Erratic braking and accelerating
- Ignoring traffic signals and signs
- Abrupt lane changes or maneuvers
- Driving below the speed limit
- Driving without headlights at night
Once you believe you are near a hazardous driver, remember that your first priority should be to keep yourself safe. Only act on the following steps when you can ensure you will also not become a hazard to yourself or others.
Steps to Take to Improve Your Safety near a Drunk Driver
The best way to avoid a crash with a drunk driver is to safely distance yourself from their vehicle. If you are on a multi-lane highway, move a lane or two away and allow a few additional car lengths between you and the suspected drunk driver.
If possible, make a mental note of the make and model of her car, its color, the number of doors, and the license plate. If you have a passenger in your vehicle, ask them to take pictures or video of the vehicle to better identify it later. With this information in hand, find a safe place to pull over or have your passenger communicate this information to the authorities while you put some distance between you and the drunk driver. Do not follow the driver.
In Ohio, you can report suspected drunk drivers by calling the Ohio State Highway Patrol at 1-800-GRAB-DUI (1-800-4722-384) or *DUI. You may also call 1-877-7-PATROL (1-877-772-8765) to report a dangerous driver or stranded motorist. When calling, the following information will be helpful to provide the police with enough details to locate the driver.
- A description of the vehicle
- License plate
- The location where the drunk driver was last seen (road name or intersection)
- The direction the drunk driver was last seen traveling
Once you have reported the drunk driver, unless the police officer tells you otherwise, you may resume your travel. Hopefully by this time the drunk driver has left the area you are in, but if you still come across her vehicle on the road, remember to distance yourself so you are able to react to any sudden changes in her driving.
Reporting a Drunk Driver Can Save Lives
For every drunk driver reported and successfully removed from the road, you are potentially saving several lives, not just your own. In 2015, the Ohio State Highway Patrol made over 23,000 OVI traffic stops. Each one of these stops potentially removed a drunk driver from our roads.
The car accident lawyers at Gallon, Takacs, Boissoneault & Schaffer Co., L.P.A. are here to help Ohio residents who have suffered injury or loss due to a drunk driver. Contact our office today to set up a free consultation, or call us directly at 419-843-6663 to get started.