You can never be 100% certain that someone is intoxicated when they’re driving, no matter what’s happening. Many other things, such as distracted driving or drowsy driving, may appear from the outside to be intoxication.
That said, all of these things are dangerous to you as someone who is sharing the road with that individual. It’s still important to look for warning signs so that you can try to avoid these drivers.
Potential signs you may see
Below are just a few of the signs that someone may be intoxicated behind the wheel:
- Driving on the shoulder or off of the road
- Driving in the wrong lane
- Swerving between lanes or all over the highway
- Making very wide, slow turns
- Stopping for no reason or not moving at a stop sign or a green light
- Tailgating you or driving aggressively
- Speeding or driving while below the speed limit
Essentially, you’re just looking for a driver who is making mistakes that you don’t think a sober person would make. You’ll often see these mistakes consistently. If someone swerves off onto the shoulder once, they may have just looked away from the road for a second. If they do it over and over again, they’re clearly having trouble controlling the vehicle and they may be intoxicated.
If you do see someone who appears to be impaired, keep your distance and keep yourself safe. Call the police after you pull over. If that person has already involved you in an accident and you’ve suffered injuries, then you may be able to seek financial compensation.