Reporting Drunk Drivers Before They Crash
Written by greg on April 11, 2012
Do you have a duty to report? What do I mean by that? You share the road with millions of other drivers each day and not only is it your responsibility to keep your vehicle in optimum driving order and adhere to safety rules yourself as the motor vehicle operator – but you also have an ethical responsibility to inform law enforcement and regulatory agencies if you witness a violation of any type related to public transport.
So who DO you call if you see an erratic driver on the road? Well, I would not recommend calling 911 as this is not a true emergency – unless it IS a true emergency – like an accident has occurred right before your eyes or something similar. If you do call 911 more often than not they will ask you to hang up and call the non-emergency line or patch you through. If you see a drunk driver weaving all over the road- I would say that IS an emergency requiring action to protect our community.
The better option is to check the local police jurisdiction’s web site and save the number to your smart phone. Some agencies have a traffic complaint page you can fill out and submit. Traffic unit officers generally follow up on these complaints. If there is nothing on the site, you should call NON EMERGENCY and file a traffic complaint as the majority of larger agencies do have a separate traffic division.
In Houston the non-emergency number for HPD is 713-884-3131.
Be sure to have the relevant information available on the car that you are concerned about including license plate, make, model, etc. The police will sort it out from there.
Do not be worried that the police will not respond to your distress call. Typically, the dispatcher will notify all units in the area and someone will be able to track down the errant vehicle. There is no doubt that in some cases reports have saved lives.
Many drunk and drugged drivers have been apprehended because a concerned member of our Houston community took the trouble to call in a report. Quite possibly saving the drunk drivers life as well as innocent others in Houston.
Greg Baumgartner is a truck crash attorney and the founder of the Baumgartner law firm, a Texas personal injury law firm dedicated to helping families of people injured or killed in accidents. For a free no obligation consultation with a truck wreck lawyer call the Baumgartner law firm at 281-587-1111.