If you see someone driving erratically and suspect they may have been drinking, you can report them to the authorities. If you’re able to give a good description and location, the police can locate them and pull them over.
How to Report Drunk Driving
To report a drunk driver, call 911. Let the operator know you want to report a suspected drunk driver. Give them the exact location of the vehicle, being as specific as possible. You’ll want to have details like the names of streets and intersections, as well as the direction the vehicle was heading.
Give as complete a description of the vehicle as possible. This is important—police can’t pull the drunk driver over if they don’t know who they’re looking for. Car make, model, and color are important. If you can, try to get the license plate number, too.
Finally, describe how the vehicle is being driven and what makes you suspect the driver is under the influence. Is it swerving? Moving very slow, very fast, or alternating between the two? Erratic driving movement is often a sign of a drunk driver.
How to Spot a Drunk Driver
There are some telltale signs that the driver of a vehicle is impaired. These may not indicate the driver is drunk, necessarily—they could also be excessively tired or distracted. They still represent a safety threat to drivers around them, though, and should be reported.
Here are some signs to look for:
- Swerving or slowing
- Erratic braking and acceleration
- Sudden, abrupt turns
- Driving down the center of a road or straddling two lanes
- Driving on the wrong side of the road
- Stopping inappropriately in traffic
- Failure to respond appropriately to traffic signals
Remember, you don’t have to give your name when you dial 911—there’s no reason not to report someone you suspect may be driving under the influence. You could save a life.
A dash cam could come in handy for proving a drunk driver’s erratic behavior on the road. Let the police know you have a dash cam with footage of the driver when you call to report—they may want to see it as evidence.
If you don’t already have a dash cam, check out our Dash Cam Buyers Guide to learn more.