Drunk driving is behind many crashes in South Carolina. Other motorists may, on occasion, even suspect that someone on the road is drunk or impaired in some other way. For example, the driver may weave in and out of lanes, make wide turns, make illegal turns, brake erratically and react slowly to traffic signals. The driver may have his or her face close to the windshield and visibly appear drunk.

Defensive driving is essential when in the presence of an erratic driver. Drivers should maintain a safe distance from the suspect vehicle or allow it to pass if it is behind them. Drivers should be ready to take quick, evasive action. If the suspect vehicle is heading straight for them, drivers are encouraged to pull over right away, stop, honk the horn and flash the lights.

The next step would be to call 911 and report the vehicle, giving the license plate number and a description of its make, model and color. Also, they should mention the road and direction the vehicle is heading. Under no circumstances should drivers think to stop the vehicle. If they decide to follow it, they must remember not to speed or disobey traffic signals, even if it means losing sight of the suspect. Should the police detain the impaired driver, it is best not to interfere.

Drunk driving is a form of negligence, and impaired motorists will generally be held financially responsible for any car crashes they cause, even if no criminal charges are filed. People who have been injured in such a collision might find it advisable to have an attorney negotiate a settlement with the drunk driver’s insurance company rather than trying to undertake it on their own.