Reminder: Watch Out for Drunk Drivers This Labor Day Weekend

Labor Day marks the end of summer—and one of the deadliest weekends of the year on the road. Stay safe.

ABC13 screencap

It’s a big holiday weekend. Labor Day is the last day of summer, and the kids are going back to school if they haven’t already. It’s time to put away the floaties and pool toys and fall is just around the corner. Parties are hopping all over the place, and the beer, wine, and liquor are flowing. And after the parties are over, a lot of those people are getting behind the wheel while intoxicated and driving home.

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration says that one person dies for every hour of the day in a drunk-driving-related crash. On a holiday weekend, those numbers are exponentially higher and the percentage of fatalities related to drunk driving increases too. Even if you’re not the one drinking, you’ve got to watch for those who are irresponsible on the highway. As of Friday afternoon, there were 666 DWI arrests this summer in Montgomery County, Texas (Houston area) alone. We’re sharing tips to keep you and your loved ones safe. 

ABC13 screencap

This is what to watch for on the road:

1. Driver is having trouble sticking to a lane

Drunk and impaired drivers struggle to maintain a consistent and steady position within and moving between driving lanes. Give a wide berth to drivers who are weaving through traffic and across traffic lane lines, straddling the side or centerline, drifting towards one side or the other of the road, swerving, and turning too wide.

2. Inconsistent speed and braking

Drivers under the influence have a hard time judging speed and distance while driving. You might notice they come to a stop at an odd angle, or brake hard with jerky, short stops. If they’re driving 10 miles per hour (or more) above or below the speed limit plus the other signs are your signal to stay out of the way.

3. Lack of awareness

This is also a sign they could be texting at the light, but the failure to move when a traffic light turns green is an indicator that the driver may be under the influence. Beware also of drivers going the wrong way on a one-way street, stopping or slowing for no clear reason, using the wrong turn signal, and driving in the dark without headlights on.

4. Exhibiting poor judgment

Making quick lane changes and tailgating could just be the hallmarks of a jerk. But it could also be someone who's had way too much to drink. Steer clear, hang back, and get off the road if you need to. 

Gabe Pierce via Unsplash

The U.S. Department of Transportation says to have a plan, whether you're driving, riding, or hosting: 

  • Before drinking, plan a safe and sober ride home.
  • Don’t let someone get behind the wheel if they've been drinking.
  • If you’re hosting a gathering, make sure all your guests have a sober ride home.
  • If you see an impaired driver, call 911. And always wear your seat belt — it’s your best defense against impaired drivers.

Hey, it's a big weekend and we know you're excited to get out and let your hair down, but be cognizant of the risk factors. We want to see you back here soon. 

Got a tip? Send the writer a note: kristin.shaw@thedrive.com