When you come in contact with a DWI driver in Dallas, Texas, it’s important to know what to do. Whether you simply see an intoxicated person hopping behind the wheel, pass a driver bobbing and weaving through the lanes, or get hit full-on in a DWI car accident, knowing the appropriate next steps is crucial to staying safe, preventing an accident and getting the justice you deserve.
Below is a detailed breakdown of how to respond to a drunk driver:
If You See a DWI Driver on the Road…
- Pull over. First and foremost, pull off to the side of the road or shoulder. You don’t want to be anywhere near them should they veer off, fall asleep or make some other grave mistake.
- Jot down their license plate number and the street you’re on. Taking note of their license plate number – as well as the street you’re traveling on – is very valuable information for the next step. If you’re on a highway, check for nearby exits signs, or if you’re in a neighborhood or downtown, look for the nearest intersection. If it’s light out and you can tell, try to remember the make, model and color of the driver’s car, too.
- Call the police. Finally, call 9-1-1. Tell them what you saw, where you saw it and the plate number. If you have other details, like the color of the car or the make and model, share these, too. The dispatcher will likely send out a vehicle within a few minutes to track down the driver in question to make sure the driver and others are safe.
If You See a Drunk Person Getting Behind the Wheel…
- Talk to their friends. If they have friends or colleagues around, ask if they’d feel comfortable taking away their keys. Better yet, see if one of them can drive the person home.
- Talk to a security guard or employee at the establishment. If you’re at a bar or restaurant, see if a bouncer, security guard or manager can come talk to the driver. If they can detain or distract them for just a few minutes, you may be able to secure them a safe ride home in the meantime.
- Call them a cab. Call up a local taxi service or Uber and send the intoxicated person home in it safely. Before you send them on their way, make sure they have the funds to pay for the ride and double check that the driver knows exactly where they’re headed. If a friend can hop in with them, even better.
- Call the police. If the drunk person seems violent at all or starts off friendly but flat-out refuses help, call the police. More than likely, they can be arrested on public intoxication charges, and they’ll be sent to the drunk tank to sober up. Either way, you’re protecting them and many other drivers on the road by doing this. They can thank you in the morning.
If You’re Hit by a Drunk Driver…
- Check to make sure everyone is OK. Before you do anything, make sure everyone is OK. That includes you, your passengers and people in the other vehicles involved (including the drunk driver).
- Call the police. Call 9-1-1 and report the car accident. Make sure to let them know if an ambulance is needed. If the driver who hit you was indeed intoxicated, mention that, too. It will likely force the police to come a little faster than they normally would for a traffic incident.
- Get the driver’s insurance, license plate and drivers license info. Make sure to get all the driver’s info before they leave the scene. You’ll need this to process the insurance claim, as well as file a lawsuit if you wish to later down the line.
- Wait for the police to arrive. Stick around until the cops arrive, as they’ll want to hear your side of the story, as well as file a police report about the incident. If they suspect the driver is intoxicated, this is also when they’ll arrest them on suspicion of DWI.
Last but not least, contact Franklin Law Firm if you’re involved in a Dallas DWI car accident. Our Dallas DWI lawyers can make sure the drunk driver is penalized for their poor decisions, and they can help you get the justice and compensation you deserve for your suffering.