What to do when you see a drunk driver?

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Over the weekend, I was traveling with two friends in an automobile on a single lane highway. In front of us was a car driven by a man who appeared to be in his early 60’s. His driving was erratic.

The three of us in the car debated about whether we should call the police.

Although the speed limit was 40mph, the man was driving no more than 25mph. He constantly hit his brakes for no reason, and at times swerved out of his lane.

I asked my two friends if I should call the police. My one friend said no. He did not want to get involved and we were pressed for time as it was. My other friend voiced concerns about what happens if the person is pulled over because of our phone call, but is found not to be drunk. She also brought up a good point about how I would feel if somebody was later hurt because I didn’t make the phone call.

I found myself having to make the decision and knew the longer I waited the harder it would be to call. Finally, the thought of me doing nothing overshadowed the risks of making the call. I dialed 911.

I haven’t called 911 too often in my life, and I must say it was very disheartening to experience how long it took to be connected with the police. When I finally did talk to a cop, they asked for the description of the car, our exact location, and the license plate number of the driver.

I was asked to stay on the phone until a police car could find us. Five minutes later a police cruiser was up ahead on the side of the highway just waiting for us to pass. When the driver saw the police officer he immediately hit his brakes. At this point we hit an area where the speed limit is 55mph. The driver was going 30mph when we passed the cop. It only took 20 seconds for the officer to put on his lights and pull over the man. I was thanked by the 911 officer and we hung up.

I have no idea if the driver was arrested for drunk driving. Regardless, I felt really good about the action I took despite having driven 10 miles out of my way and being 15 minutes late to our final destination.

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