Most Tennessee drivers understand it is illegal to get behind the wheel after drinking alcohol if their blood alcohol concentration is .08 or more. However, some drivers still get in the car and drive after having too much to drink, and this can lead to serious accidents and even death. Other vehicle operators can help report suspected impaired drivers by looking out for certain signs. 

According to the Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility, drunk drivers cause numerous accidents, and many of them are fatal. Some stats regarding drunk driving collisions include: 

  • 3 out of 100,000 people die in crashes involving alcohol 
  • 29% of fatal accidents were due to drunk driving 
  • 1 person dies every 48 minutes due to impaired driving 
  • 1,000 of the over 10,000 people who die annually in drunk driving crashes are under 21 

Due to the number of impaired drivers that may be on the road, MADD identifies signs that may indicate drunk driving. Some, like driving the opposite way in the lane, hitting another vehicle or severe weaving, are more obvious. Others may be more subtle. These include not driving with headlights at night, tailgating, quickly speeding up, driving much slower than the posted speed and erratic braking. 

While there may be other reasons why a driver is operating in this manner, it is always a good idea to be safe than sorry, so contacting law enforcement is a good idea. Without getting too close to the suspected vehicle, get as many details, such as plate number, color, year, make and model, as possible. Call 911 or the non-emergency number and give them the vehicle’s information and the driving behavior so they can take appropriate action.