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It's 5 o'clock somewhere: That might place you at risk for injury

Are you a Jimmy Buffett fan? If so, then the song lyric contained in the title of this post is likely familiar to you. If not, you may have heard it in reference to after-work drinks or reasons to pop a cold beer even if it's early afternoon wherever you happen to be. It's true that after 5 o'clock, there may be more drunk drivers on the road, making extra caution necessary while you're driving home from work or heading out on the town with friends.

Knowing how to recognize a drunk motorist may help save your life. On the other hand, even if you're aware of all the red flag signals that a motorist may be operating a vehicle under impairment, there may be little to nothing you can do to avoid an accident. Either way, it's good to be able to identify a drunk driver when you see one, as well as know where to turn for support when needed.

Red flags to alert you of possible danger

You may spot a possible drunk driver even before you exit a parking lot, such as at a restaurant or convenience store location. If you do, you can report suspicious behavior and possibly help other motorists and pedestrians avoid injury. Whether you're walking, in a parked car or already navigating the roadway, the following behaviors in nearby motorists are definite causes for concern:

  • If you're getting into your car to drive home after dining out with friends and you notice another driver pull out of the parking lot with no headlights on, it may not be a problem, unless it's dark outside. Forgetting to turn on headlights is a common mistake many drunk drivers make.
  • You glance in your rear view mirror while driving and notice a car behind you barreling up on your bumper then slamming on brakes. The driver may be distracted in some way or may be acting under the influence of alcohol.
  • Vehicles that are not traveling in line with existing traffic flow should cause you to pay close attention. Drunk drivers often brake or accelerate erratically. They may also driver well above or below a posted speed limit.
  • Veering over the yellow line, bumping a curb or swaying left and right in a traffic lane are all signs of possible drunk driving.

If you notice a motorist exhibiting at-risk behavior that leads you to believe he or she may be drunk, it's best to try to distance yourself as much as is safely possible at the time. If you're able, you might consider pulling off the road to report the license number to police in the area. Lives have been saved when conscientious motorists have called in suspicious driving situations. If a drunk driver hits you and you suffer injury, you can pursue justice in court.

Many South Carolina accident victims choose to file personal injury claims to recover losses associated with drunk driving accidents.

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