You might have chosen Baton Rouge as your home locale because you liked how close it is to the Mississippi River. You may also be one of many Louisiana residents who enjoy the many celebrations and community events that the city hosts, which attract tens of thousands of tourists every year. A problem that sometimes arises, however, is that party goers often consume alcohol then make poor decisions to get behind the wheel of their cars to drive.
If you have a beer at Mardi Gras then drive home, you aren't necessarily doing anything illegal. However, if a driver's blood alcohol content level is .08 or higher (in most cases) he or she may wind up facing drunk driving charges. Sharing the road with a drunk driver might also mean you end up in the hospital emergency room with serious injuries. Knowing how to recognize signs of drunk driving and where to seek support if a collision occurs are high priorities for Baton Rouge travelers.
Busy roadways make it tough to spot drunk drivers
In addition to being the state capital, Baton Rouge is a highly populous city, which means its roadways are often laden with high-speed traffic. If you witness any of the driving behaviors included in the following list, it's a definite sign that you are in danger and possibly at risk for a drunk driving collision:
- One of the most common errors drunk drivers make is forgetting to turn on their headlights when they're driving in the dark. If you're leaving a party or coming home late from work and you see a car traveling with no lights on at night, beware – an intoxicate driver may be behind the wheel.
- In heavy traffic, careless drivers often weave in and out, trying to get ahead of other vehicles. However, if you notice a vehicle swerving left, right or over the yellow line, it's a sign that the driver is possibly distracted or drunk.
- Drunk drivers often have a lot of difficulty navigating turns because their cognitive ability and depth perception are impaired. You'll want to steer clear of any driver who takes a bend far too widely or so tightly that he or she clips a curb or bumps standing object at the corner of a road.
- Erratic braking is another sign of drunk driving. All motorists in the same vicinity should be traveling in ways that align with current traffic flow, not suddenly braking or accelerating in a random pattern.
Even if you notice suspicious driving behavior, you have no way of knowing for sure if the driver is drunk. That's why it's always best to safely exit the roadway or try to distance yourself from the vehicle if possible; you should also contact authorities and alert them of the driver's erratic behavior.
If a collision occurs and you suffer injury
You can't do much (if anything at all) about another driver's choices or actions behind the wheel. Suffering injury in a collision that was easily preventable were it not for the other driver's negligence may not only be physically painful but can also have serious financial and emotional implications.
Louisiana judges often hold drunk drivers legally and financially accountable for their actions, particularly when recovering victims of collision, or family members of fatally injured travelers, file personal injury or wrongful death claims in court.