After a night of partying, many Miami residents and tourists act in a responsible manner and have others drive them home. Some, however, choose to drive even though they are intoxicated. This is a careless, dangerous action that can cause serious car accidents. Many of these crashes end up severely injuring or even killing victims.
While it’s impossible to avoid ever becoming an accident victim, you can be better prepared by knowing what to look for when traveling Miami’s roadways, especially at night. Find out how to spot drivers who appear to be driving while intoxicated, and what steps you can take if you believe you have spotted one.
Substances That Can Alter Driving Behavior
Intoxicated driving isn’t limited to alcohol use. Drugs—both legal and illegal—can also affect one’s ability to drive.
Believe it or not, prescription drug use can affect the way you drive. Narcotics, tranquilizers, decongestants, cough medicines, sleep medicines, antihistamines and antidepressants can all cause drowsiness while driving, especially in seniors. They can also affect focus, which means a driver under the influence of prescription drugs may seem more distracted. Many experience more severe side effects because they often mix prescription drugs with alcohol or self-medicate.
Alcohol and driving don’t mix for several reasons. It slows down a person’s reaction time, making it harder for them to respond quickly. It also reduces one’s concentration, inhibits judgment and causes blurry vision, making it difficult to see clearly.
Drugs such as marijuana can also reduce reaction time. It can also distort perception and cause poor coordination, making it difficult to drive. While marijuana is known to relax most people, it can cause panic and anxiety in some.
When determining if a driver is intoxicated, police officers look for signs of impairment. These may include sudden braking for no reason, weaving in and out of lanes, jerking movements, and driving very slowly and then speeding up. Intoxicated drivers may also hug the center line, make wide turns and hit objects in the roadway. Some also do not use headlights or turn signals appropriately. A driver who is tailgating you might be drunk and simply imitating your actions to keep the car straight.
What to Do if You See a Drunk Driver
If you are driving in Miami and believe you are witnessing a driver who is is driving under the influence due to these common signs, call local law enforcement by dialing 911 or *FHP. Do not call while driving unless you are using a hands-free device. Let the operator know where the vehicle is and in which direction it is traveling. Give specifics such as make, model and color of the car, as well as the license plate number if possible. Do not approach the driver or even try to follow him or her, and avoid taking actions that would put yourself or others at risk.
Injured by a Drunk Driver in Miami?
When intoxicated drivers travel the roadways, accidents occur. If you were involved in a crash caused by an intoxicated driver, take a brief moment to consult with an experienced Miami car accident attorney. The Miami personal injury attorneys at the law offices of Dolan Dobrinsky Rosenblum Bluestein, LLP are prepared to assist you throughout each step of your personal injury claim. Contact our offices today at 305-371-2692.