Help prevent drunk driving accidents

Car accidents in New Mexico can be devastating in terms of bodily injury and property damage. However, when a crash involves a drunk driver, this is even worse because the driver never should have gotten into the vehicle in the first place. Motorists should be able to identify a potential drunk driver based off certain signs so that they can report the driver to law enforcement to get them off the road.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, drunk driving has serious effects.  Around 30 fatalities every day occur due to drunk driving, and this makes up one-third of all fatal accidents. The use of alcohol can begin to affect driving even before reaching the legal limit. Some effects on driving include visual function decline, divided attention, impaired coordination, difficulty steering, impaired perception, loss of speed control and reduced ability to brake properly and stay in the appropriate lane. 

According to MADD, there are certain signs that indicate someone may be driving under the influence. These include:

  • Swerving
  • Driving much slower than posted speeds
  • Stopping for no apparent reason
  • Drifting or zig-zagging
  • Slow or sudden response at traffic signals
  • Turning illegally or abruptly

If someone suspects a drunk driver, it is best to keep some distance from them but also get the vehicle’s information such as license plate number, color and model. Following cellphone laws, make a call to law enforcement, which may be the non-emergency number or, if that information is not available, 9-1-1 . Explain why you feel the driver may be under the influence and give the vehicle’s description and location. Answer any other questions the officer may have and then allow them to do the rest.