How do I know if the driver who caused my accident was drunk?

identifying drunk driversEven those who would never consider drinking and driving can find themselves involved in a drunk driving accident. Despite the known risks, some drivers repeatedly make the poor decision to climb behind the wheel when they are under the influence of alcohol. In 2016, Alaska law enforcement made 3,063 impaired driving arrests, and that same year drunk driving caused 36 percent of all fatal accidents. While it is often clear that the at-fault driver was drunk, it is sometimes difficult to know when a driver may be impaired.

Most Common Signs of a Drunk Driver

Impaired drivers often exhibit the same kinds of behavior on the road. Take notice of these warning signs to help you avoid a drunk driver or to report to law enforcement if you are involved in an accident:

  • Drifting across the road. When impaired, it’s difficult to concentrate on the task at hand. Impaired drivers will often drift across their lane or even into other lanes.
  • Driving too slowly. At times, drivers know they are impaired and should not be driving. They may overcompensate by driving slowly, thinking that only driving above the speed limit will be noticeable to law enforcement.
  • Overusing the brakes. Lack of concentration and diminished motor skills may lead an impaired driver to brake frequently, at any perceived issue on the road.
  • Improper signaling. Using the right blinker when turning left or leaving the turn signal on for a long period of time may indicate that the driver is impaired. They could be confused or simply not notice.
  • Hugging the center line. Similar to slow driving, when drivers know they are under the influence, they may drive close to the center line in an attempt to keep their vehicle straight.
  • Obvious, serious driving violations. Sometimes, seriously impaired drivers will make gross errors on the road, such as driving the wrong way or on the wrong side of the road.

Make Your Concerns Known and Get Help From an Attorney

It’s important to note that while these are common warning signs, these behaviors may not be proof positive that a driver has been drinking or taking drugs. If you are involved in an accident, report your suspicions to the police at the scene if possible. They can investigate further and administer the proper tests. If you are unhurt or you have a passenger who is capable, take photos or videos of the scene. Do not attempt to engage the other driver, though, as they may behave unpredictably.

An experienced attorney can help accident victims determine the true cause of the accident. Often, distracted or fatigued driving behavior is similar to that of drunk driving. Either way, when another driver behaves irresponsibly behind the wheel, he can be held accountable for the damage he causes. At The Law Office of Ben Crittenden, attorney Ben Crittenden helps Alaska accident victims obtain the compensation they need to recover as fully as possible and move forward with their lives. Call Ben in his Anchorage office today or take a moment to fill out the form on this page to connect directly with Ben and learn more about how he may be able to help.