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How to Report a Drunk Driver in California

Driving while under the influence of alcohol claims thousands of innocent lives every single year, including lives of California drivers, pedestrians, and passengers. The sad reality of drunk driving is that it is completely preventable – people who get behind the wheel while intoxicated can easily choose not to do so.

If you see a drunk driver on the road or believe someone you know could engage in drunk driving, it is important to report them to your local authorities before it is too late. If you are involved in an accident caused by an intoxicated driver, contact a San Jose car accident attorney at Henshaw & Henry, PC.

California Drunk Driving Statistics

Drunk driving has significantly decreased in recent years due to continuing education about its dangers. Now, people have more options for a safe ride home and know the importance of a designated driver. However, many people still die in drunk driving accidents each year.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention provides a set of statistics regarding drunk driving in California.

How Can You Tell If Someone Is Driving Drunk?

When you are driving, it can be difficult to tell if someone just had a momentary lapse in judgment or he or she is truly impaired behind the wheel. You do not want to accidentally report a sober driver – but with the high death rate involved in these crashes, it is better to be safe than sorry. After all, you could be saving a life.

A few telltale signs can enable you to identify a drunk driver.

In addition, certain behaviors can indicate that a driver may be drunk. If he or she is driving with his or her face close to the windshield, unfocused eyes or odd eye fixation, and drinking in the vehicle can indicate that a driver is under the influence. If you are hit by an intoxicated driver, our San Jose DUI accident lawyers can help.

Reporting a Drunk Driver in California

To keep the roads and highways safe, you can report a drunk driver to the California Highway Patrol. As soon as you notice a drunk driver engaging in one of the listed behaviors for a consistent amount of time or performing a number of erratic actions, pull over to the side of the road in a safe location and call 911. If you have a passenger in your vehicle, you can ask them to call 911. Do not follow the vehicle or get too close.

When you get the dispatcher on the line, provide the following information.

Preventing a Potential Drunk Driver

If you are at a gathering or a bar and notice someone you know intending to drive while intoxicated, stop him or her immediately. You can prevent him or her from driving in one of the following ways.

If the person does not cooperate and drives anyway, report him or her immediately. You may be worried of the potential falling out, but the potential lives lost – including the driver’s – outweigh personal conflict.