Archive for October 30th, 2006

Dial-a-Drunk: DUI Vigilantes Are Watching You

Monday, October 30th, 2006

As I’ve mentioned in the past, MADD and local police have increasingly encouraged citizens to inform on anyone they think might be a drunk driver (see "How to Get Your ex-Spouse: the Anonymous Tip"). The latest development is to encourage them to report drivers who may not appear intoxicated but nevertheless have specific "signs":

Detecting Drunk Drivers

Oct. 22, AOL. According to the DWI detection guide put out by the U.S. Department of Transportation and its National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there are many common, telltale signs that can help identify a drunk driver. Police departments and state patrols around the country use this guide to identify and stop potential drunk drivers before they cause accidents…

Some of these "signs" are spelled out, for example:

Speed and braking problems. Braking smoothly becomes a more difficult task for impaired drivers, so look for general problems with stopping, like jerkiness or stopping in too short or long of a distance than needed. Maintaining speed also becomes more challenging for drunk drivers, so also look for drivers that accelerate or decelerate quickly for no apparent reason, or drivers that are going more than ten miles per hour under the speed limit.

Judgment problems…. Examples of this is following another vehicle too closely, or making unsafe lane changes like cutting off other vehicles and appearing unaware of any problem…

In other words, if you see a driver who is not braking as quickly or as slowly as you would, who accelerates quickly, who cuts you off, who is following too closely, or who is just going too slowly, then:

If you see two or more of the above factors, the driver is probably drunk, and it’s your responsibility to save the lives of other drivers and alert the police…Get the license plate number and dial 911.

So the next time some old guy’s not driving and braking as fast as you’d like, or some jerk tailgates you and then cuts you off, don’t just sit there fuming: Dial 911. The guy’s obviously drunk, right?

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