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DRIVING : How to Spot the Drunk Driver

July 07, 1993|THE WASHINGTON POST

On an average weekday, one out of every 25 drivers is legally drunk, according to MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving). The percentage is much higher on weekends and late evening hours.

As part of its KISS (Keep It a Safe Summer) program, MADD offers the following clues from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for recognizing a nighttime drunk driver:

* Turning with a wide radius. * Straddling center of the lane. * Appearing to be drunk, i.e., eye fixation, face close to windshield, drinking in the vehicle. * Almost striking objects or cars. * Weaving, zig-zagging, swerving, drifting. * Driving on other than a designated roadway. * Driving 10 m.p.h. or more below the limit. * Stopping without cause. * Following others too closely. * Left tires consistently on the center line or marker. * Erratic braking. * Slow response to traffic signals. * Turning abruptly or illegally. * Accelerating or decelerating rapidly. * Driving with headlights off.

If you spot a drunk driver, call police or the highway patrol. Give description, location, direction of travel and time. Do not intervene. Stay buckled up and out of harm's way.

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