Every driver knows that drunk driving is dangerous and illegal. Sadly, every year, thousands of intoxicated drivers get behind the wheel and kill someone: countless more cause non-fatal accidents, near-accidents and property damage.
The easiest way to not get into a drunk driving accident is not to drink and drive. However, even though most drivers make this decision, it can be very difficult to avoid others who did not. For instance, you could wind up riding in the same vehicle as a drunk driver.
- Intoxicated bus drivers – Having a commercial license and being entrusted with the safety of children does not stop some people from drinking or using drugs and driving. Sadly, police have caught more than 115 impaired school bus drivers in the last five years. Hundreds of others refused to complete or failed random alcohol and drug screenings after completing a route.
- Intoxicated rideshare operators – Rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft are popular options for people who have been drinking and cannot or do not want to drive. However, there have been multiple instances involving an intoxicated Uber, Lyft or another rideshare driver. Though most companies have zero-tolerance policies in place, the policies do not prevent every driver from responding to a call after drinking.
- Intoxicated friends, family members – The people we love most could also be putting us in danger when they drink and drive. It might be a friend who had less to drink than everyone else but is still drunk; it could be a parent with alcohol addiction; it could be a co-worker driving others home after a work party.
If you suspect someone of driving drunk, whether you are their passenger or sharing the road with them, you can take action to protect yourself.
As a passenger, ask the driver to stop so that you can get out of the car immediately. You can also notify the driver’s employer, if appropriate. If you see someone driving erratically, you can call the police to report the unsafe driver.
Taking these steps can keep you safe and potentially get the drunk driver off the road.