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What Happens When You Suspect the Other Driver in Your Accident is drunk?


If you’re a victim of a car accident, drunk driving could be the culprit. However, you might be the there are certain steps that you need to take to get proof of insobriety. Learn what happens when you suspect the other driver is drunk. 

Signs of Drunk Driving

How do you know the other driver is drunk? Before you learn how to handle the situation, you should know the signs of drunk driving. Here are a few behaviours that could be signs of drunk driving:
  • Driving with no headlights at night
  • Sudden turns or illegal turns
  • Making unnecessarily wide turns
  • Almost hitting pedestrians, objects, or other vehicles
  • Erratic braking
  • Weaving in and out of lanes
  • Leaning close to the windshield while driving
Although the above signs could be a result of drunk driving, they also could be a result of other issues. Medical conditions, old age, and reckless driving can cause many of the above behaviors. It’s important to make note of the behaviors, but you should keep an open mind. 

What Should You Do?

If you haven’t already done so, call the police. After an accident, you should have the police come to the scene. They can see first-hand the signs of drunkenness in the other driver. Additionally, an officer can look at the scene of the accident and identify tell-tale signs of drunk driving.

Although the officer can see the results of the accident, they can’t see the worrisome behaviors you noticed. By the time the police arrive, the other driver could sober up enough to act normal.

You should speak to the officer about the behaviors that make you suspect drunk driving. This gives the police officer reason to suspect drunk driving.

Unfortunately, the most accurate way for the police to determine the sobriety is a blood draw. But the other driver might be reluctant to agree to a blood draw. If he says no, the police might choose to do a forced blood draw. The laws surrounding forced blood draws are muddy, which makes this a complex issue.

Forced Blood Draw Laws

In Florida, there are three situations in which a police officer can get access to a driver’s blood.

1. A Death or Serious Injury Occurred

If anyone, including the driver, dies or has a serious injury, police officers can force a blood test from the driver. There is no warrant necessary. This is the only way in which the police can legally force an individual to give blood.

2. The Officers Can’t Get a Breath or Urine Test

If the driver is in the hospital for minor injuries, he might be incapable of a breath or urine test. The officers can ask for a blood test. However, they can’t force it. Without a warrant, the driver could refuse.

3. The State Gets a Subpoena

In some situations, the driver goes to the hospital and gives blood for medical treatment. The State can use this blood test against the driver. By getting a subpoena for the records, the State can use those results in court. If the driver had a high BAC, then it confirms the fact that he was drunk driving.

There’s no guarantee that you will get proof of the other driver’s insobriety. For this reason, it’s important that you speak to a car accident lawyer in Tampa. He can help you get justice for the other driver’s recklessness.

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