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Why and how should I report a suspected drunk driver?

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Should I report a driver I suspect is drunk? Will it actually make a difference? Before reading the answers to your questions, you will find a few statistics for consideration. The data comes from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and concerns drunk driving in Maryland for the year 2012.

-- More than 1,700 people died in drunk driving accidents

-- More drunk driving accident-related deaths occurred in the 21 to 34-year-old age group than any other

-- More men perished in DUI accidents than women

-- More than 2 percent of Maryland residents reported driving after consuming too much alcohol

These statistics help in answering the first part of your question. Reducing or even preventing drunk driving accidents is the most important reason to report a suspected drunk driver. Unfortunately, available data shows that people still opt to drive when they are impaired. Nationwide, the CDC reports that one out of every three traffic fatalities involves an impaired driver.

Taking control of the situation if you suspect someone is driving drunk is easier than you probably think. If you are not sure what to do, just follow these simple tips when sharing the road with a drunken motorist.

-- Keep far away from the other vehicle and do not attempt to pass the car or signal the driver.

-- If safe, note the vehicle's license plate number as well as its color, make and model.

-- Safely pull your car over and call 911. Be prepared to report the location of the vehicle, the direction it is traveling and any nearby cross streets. Provide as complete a description of the vehicle as possible.

As Maryland citizens, everyone shares a responsibility for doing everything possible to prevent someone from dying or getting hurt in a drunk driving accident.

Source: MADD, "What to Do if You See a Drunk Driver," accessed Nov. 01, 2016

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