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If you’ve ever seen someone on the side of the road undergoing a sobriety test, or a swerving car suddenly be pulled over, chances are you’ve likely wondered how police are able to spot those who may be driving drunk. Believe it or not, it involves a lot more than just looking for cars that are swerving or cross over the middle line for a second or two. In fact, police officers are trained to watch out for certain signs of drunk drivers or otherwise impaired driving.

Some of the most common signs of drunk drivers that police officers will typically watch for include the following:

  • Speeding up or slowing down quickly
  • Coming close to striking another vehicle or object
  • Drifting from one lane to another
  • Driving either in the center of the road or on the wrong side of the road
  • Braking in an erratic manner
  • Not using headlights during the nighttime hours
  • Driving too slowly
  • Physically looking drunk while driving
  • Turning the vehicle too widely while driving
  • Reacting to traffic signals more slowly than considered normal
  • Making signals that aren’t consistent with actual driving actions
  • Stopping inappropriately or when not needed
  • Abruptly turning or swerving while driving
  • Making illegal or sudden turns while driving
  • Zig-zagging or weaving across the road while driving

Thankfully, there are ways in which you can assist police officers apprehending drunk drivers that could cause physical harm or death to themselves or others. Perhaps the best thing that you can do is immediately call 911 if you ever see a driver who appears to be intoxicated while they’re behind the wheel. Be sure to provide the operator you speak to with important information such as your location, direction in which the vehicle is traveling, as well as the vehicle make, model, license plate, and color. The more information you can provide, the better chances the police will be able to have in finding them.

Thank you for visiting the Jarvis, Garcia, & Erskine blog. We write to inform Austin locals about law changes, events and news.