Tips for Spotting and Reporting Suspected Impaired Drivers

The Shasta Avoid the Six Task Force is asking for your help to make our community safer. As we approach the New Year, studies show there will be even more impaired drivers on our roadways. If you see a suspected impaired driver on the road, report it immediately by calling 911. Your actions may save someone’s life, and inaction could cost a life.

 How to Spot an Impaired Driver

The following clues can help motorists detect an impaired driver:

• Weaving/swerving in and out of the lane

• Weaving within the lane quite noticeably

• Traveling at speeds much slower than the flow of traffic

• Braking erratically or stopping in the lane

• Sudden stops for signal lights and slow start once they change

• Remaining at the signal lights once they turn green – asleep at the wheel

• Making wide turns and/or cutting the corner striking the curb

• Headlights off at night or on high beams

• Driving with the turn signals on

• Straddling the center line of the road or lane lines

• The driver looks intoxicated – starring straight ahead, face close to the windshield, and/or appears to be

quite sleepy

• Aggressive driving – speeding, tailgating and multiple lane changes or unsafe passing may be the tell-

tale signs of intoxication

How to Report an Impaired Driver

1. Call 911 and tell them you wish to report a suspected drunk/impaired driver. You do not have to give

your name.

2. Give a complete description of the vehicle, such as make, model, color and license plate number.

3. Give the exact location of the vehicle, including the name of the road, cross streets and the direction

they’re traveling.

4. Describe the manner in which the vehicle is being driven.

5. Do not try to stop the car or detain the driver. Leave that to a law enforcement officer.

 For more information, visit

Redding Police Department press release.

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3 Responses

  1. Avatar citizen says:

    from what the news has been reporting all week, there are less drunk drivers on the roadways this year than last. Lets let the police do their job and not have citizens illegally using cell phones while driving reporting on each other

  2. Avatar Ron C says:

    To Citizen: It is not illegal to use a cell phone to call 911. It should be illegal to fail to report an impaired driver, however.

  3. Avatar `AJacoby says:

    JUST A THO'T . . . . the UNIMPAIRED driver should have enough sense to pull off the road to use his phone to call 911; HOWEVER there are exceptions. Following a semi on I-5 just north of Corning. He was swerving quite badly and changing lanes unnecessarily. There was no safe place to pull off the road and I did use my cell while driving. If I had realized that we were coming up on the rest stop I might have waited. But he pulled off there while I was talking to the 911 operator. Hopefully he was just sleepy and that took care of the problem.