Tips for Teen Drivers: Can You Spot a Drunk Driver?

Drunk Driver

The warm weather means BBQs, swim parties and many other fun activities and celebrations, often involving alcoholic beverages … leading to inebriated drivers on our Kansas City roadways.

Since car crashes are the number 1 killer of teens (according to the National Organizations for Youth Safety), make sure your teenage driver knows how to recognize the signs of a drunk driver.

  • Weaving or veering into other lanes of traffic
  • Driving off the side of the road
  • Straddling the center line
  • Unsafe or erratic lane changes
  • Driving very slow, at least 10 or more miles per hour below the speed limit
  • Erratic speed control (failure to maintain an even, consistent speed)
  • Following too close
  • Making stops too quickly or jerky, short stops
  • Driving the wrong way or in the wrong direction
  • Driving in the dark without headlights
  • Slow response to traffic signals
  • Almost striking an object, curb or another vehicle
  • Erratic braking

What Should Your Teenage Driver Do?

Teens will react differently when they spot a potentially drunk driver. Some may get overly cautious, while others may think it’s a little funny. Make sure your teen knows what to do in this situation.

  • Stay as far away from the other vehicle as possible.
  • Do not try to pass the vehicle or signal it to pull over.
  • Pull over and write down the license plate and specifics about the vehicle — make, model, color, if possible.
  • Call 911. Give the location of the vehicle and any other location details along with the information written down.

Take time to educate your teen on what a .08 blood alcohol level looks like.

Make sure your teen is following safe driving practices.


Today, drivers have to deal with all kinds of negligent driving behaviors, such as aggressive, drowsy or drunk driving, speeding and just plain recklessness. It’s no wonder that auto accidents are a leading cause of personal injuries.

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