You might consider yourself a "casual drinker" or someone who consumes alcohol in moderation. You like having a cold beer, glass of wine or mixed drinks with family and friends on social occasions, but other than that, drinking is not really a big deal in your life. If you're age 21 or older, there isn't necessarily anything wrong with drinking alcohol, unless you get into legal trouble by operating a motor vehicle with a .08 or higher blood alcohol content level.
As long as you make responsible choices and adhere to alcohol-related laws, there's no legal reason you can't imbibe. However, even if you act responsibly, there's no guarantee that other drivers who are sharing your roadways are doing the same. In fact, there are people who have utter disregard for any type of traffic regulation or criminal law. Sadly, many Georgia residents have suffered serious injuries (and often, fatalities) because of drunk drivers. If you survive a drunk driving accident, you may still suffer long-lasting consequences.
Knowing how to spot a drunk driver might save your life
If you know how to recognize signs of driver intoxication, you might be able to safely exit the road or create more distance between your vehicle and the one you have your eye on. The following list shows common signs that often suggest driver impairment:
- If you witness a driver take a bend far too widely or so tight that he or she clips a curb, it may be a sign of drunk driving.
- Intoxicated drivers often scrunch up in their seats, as close to the windshield as possible. They also tend to grip the steering wheel tightly.
- Any time you notice a vehicle that is veering left or right in its lane, it's a definite alert that the driver may be dealing with a distraction, drunk or otherwise impaired.
- Erratic acceleration or braking also signify a possible drunk driver.
- If you see someone driving when it's dark outside who is not using headlights, it is a definite sign that he or she might be in an intoxicated state. This is one of the most common errors drunk drivers make.
If it's possible to safely pull off the road and call 911, you can report a suspected drunk driver. What if it's not possible, however? What if you're in heavy, fast-moving traffic and the erratically moving vehicle hits you? Why should you face the full financial burden associated with post-accident medical care, physical therapy or other expenses prompted by the collision?
The law is on your side
Georgia law allows recovering accident victims to seek financial recovery for damages they've suffered because of drunk drivers. By navigating the personal injury claim process, an injured victim can present evidence to the court to show that another driver was reckless or negligent and that this was a causal factor to his or her injuries.