What to do if another driver is under the influence of drugs

by Bill Vasiliadis on March 28, 2013

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Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol can be dangerous not only for the person behind the wheel, but also for other road users. If you encounter an intoxicated driver on the road, it is best to keep a safe distance from them. Don’t try to intervene or do anything that might cause an aggressive reaction. It is not always easy to tell whether or not another driver is under the influence, but there are a few indications that might help to give you some warning:

  • Driving erratically and not staying in their lane
  • Weaving from side to side
  • Driving with the headlights off at night
  • Excessively slow driving
  • Bumping into objects on the side of the road
  • Making excessively wide turns
  • Stopping and starting suddenly and for no reason
  • Following too closely behind other cars
  • Not signalling or signalling incorrectly

If you are driving and you notice that the driver in front of you is behaving erratically, it is a good idea to call the police and let them know. An intoxicated driver can be at risk of being involved in an accident, and as well as potentially hurting themselves they might also harm someone else. Don’t try to stop the driver or pull them over, as there is a chance they might become aggressive.

If you encounter a driver who you suspect is under the influence of drugs, here are a few suggestions to help you stay safe:

  • Keep a safe distance behind the other vehicle if they are in front and don’t be tempted to follow them if they are driving faster than the speed limit. Be wary of following too closely in case they stop suddenly.
  • If you are driving behind them be aware that if you focus too much on them you may end up naturally following their path and weaving across the road. Take care to maintain your direction and keep in a straight course.
  • Don’t attempt to stop and intervene if you see police pulling the driver over.
  • If they stop, overtake them carefully, don’t attempt to engage in conversation with them or otherwise detain them.

Remember, someone who is driving under the influence of drugs might not act in a rational manner. Although you might be tempted to intervene, make sure you put your personal safety and that of your passenger first, and let the police deal with the driver. Drugs can have a number of different effects on behaviour, and someone who is under the influence can act in a dangerous manner if confronted.

Unlike driving under the influence of alcohol, driving while under the influence of a prohibited substance does not come with specific limits, rather there is a zero tolerance policy.

If police can prove that someone had an intoxicating substance in their system at the time of driving they can face a number of penalties, including disqualification, fines or even a possible prison sentence. Testing is usually done via a saliva sample, and if there are traces of any prohibited substances, the person involved will be taken to the police station for more extensive testing.

If you have been charged with driving under the influence (DUI) it is essential that you seek legal representation from experienced drug lawyers. Many DUI cases can be successfully defended in court, but you will need to consult with a qualified lawyer to make sure you have the best possible chance of a successful outcome.

Bill Vasiliadis
Bill Vasiliadis is a professional internet marketer who enjoys writing on a wide range of topics. He currently leads the team at SEO for Small Business Pty Ltd based in Sydney, Australia.
Bill Vasiliadis
Bill Vasiliadis

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