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Drunk driver - what to do?

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#1 CallMeFeral

Posted 05 January 2013 - 01:07 PM

On our way home at 2am last night, we passed a clearly drunk driver. He wasn't weaving madly, but it was a 3 lane road and he was fast and slow and drifting around a little. He was obviously well past the limit.

I thought "I should call someone - he shouldn't be on the road!" but was not quite sure who to call. Does one call the police about this? And how does that work - he's driving so what are the chances of them finding him, he'd be well past wherever I reported him by then. And then who do you call? If I call 000 am I wasting their lines so that real emergencies can't get through? But I don't know any other number offhand... And are you supposed to get their numberplate or something? I didn't really want DH to get close enough to see it - we had kids in the car - I just wanted to get as far from him as possible.

In the end I wished I had called, as there was actually a police car we passed on the other side of the road, so they WOULD have been able to get there in time. I just hate the thought that someone that drunk was out on the street able to possibly injure someone. But I was just frozen by the fact that I didn't actually know what I was supposed to do in this situation!

Educate me, EB! Tounge1.gif

#2 papilio

Posted 05 January 2013 - 01:10 PM

In that situation, I would have called the police on 000.

#3 Feral Grey Mare

Posted 05 January 2013 - 01:10 PM

Erratic driving could also be a result of just not concentrating (usually too busy looking at their phone). If in doubt I would suggest ringing the Police Assistance Line in you state or just the local station.

#4 marnie27

Posted 05 January 2013 - 01:10 PM

We were in a similar situation and called the police general number - they took details and then called us back later to let us know they'd acted on it.  I didn't think the driver was drunk but they were driving very carelessly - almost sideswiped us twice.

#5 galba

Posted 05 January 2013 - 01:10 PM

I think I would've called 13 14 44.  I've done this in the past when a massive branch was in the road after a storm and cars were swerving to avoid it in the dark.  

#6 Fr0g

Posted 05 January 2013 - 01:11 PM

You call the cops - tell them rego, car details, erratic driving and which direction they're headed.

If there's a patrol nearby, they'll dispatch them.

We've done this several times over the years.  We did it a few years back, when a lady leaving Clipsal (presumably), nearly ran us over at a pedestrian crossing.  We called the cops straight away and they called back about 20 minutes later - she had continued on her p*ssed way and mounted a curb in the city, flipping her car entirely and narrowly missing more pedestrians.  If she had struck and killed someone, I never would have forgiven my complacency if we hadn't called.

#7 SplashingRainbows

Posted 05 January 2013 - 01:12 PM

I would have called 000. If rather call 000 to prevent a tragedy than call one to report a tragedy.

The operator should be able to prioritise the call according to current need.

#8 JRA

Posted 05 January 2013 - 01:13 PM

I hate the fact that Vic no longer has a number like 13 14 44. You are meant to call the local station now - great if you know the number. It is bloody stupid. We now have two local police station numbers in our phones, but that doesn't help when travelling.

#9 Jekaho

Posted 05 January 2013 - 01:17 PM

Call 000.

The advice given, regarding our mutual friend CallMeAliG, was that if they are ever in the car and drunk that you call the police straight away. Even if you don't know exactly where they are.

#10 Dadda64

Posted 05 January 2013 - 01:18 PM

It's been shown that mobile phone use is as dangerous as drink driving.  If you reported all the mobile users driving, you'd never get to go anywhere !

#11 HRH Countrymel

Posted 05 January 2013 - 01:20 PM

In years gone by I would have said call the police general number - but not that long ago a drunk and dangerous driver killed a whole family on our highway.

In the aftermath the police had to defend their actions for not getting to him in time (there were cars heading toward him from both directions but unfortunately due to the spread out nature of the small towns in the area they simply had too far to drive alas) but thanked all the people who had reported the car to 000.

They pointed out (very rightly) that 000 is to report a life in danger - and that was exactly what this driver was doing/did.

I've always been scared to call 000 - but after that report I feel more confident that it is OK to do so.

#12 Jadis

Posted 05 January 2013 - 01:21 PM

Call the police. I'm a police dispatcher and we get these calls all the time. It is not technically an emergency, no, but it is a valid 000 call. We will broadcast the details immediately and try to get a car to intercept them. You can call PAL if you want (Police Assistance Line) 131 444 as a pp stated, but it's a legitimate 000 call also.
Getting the rego is obviously very helpful, but even the make/model/colour is great, and a police car will patrol and keep a look out.

#13 casime

Posted 05 January 2013 - 01:28 PM

I called 000 one day when a car flew past me on the highway with a child about two years old bouncing around the backseat unrestrained and sticking their head out the open car window.  Told them the location and direction of travel at the time.   About ten minutes up the road, saw them pulled over by the cops.    tthumbs.gif

If the only way to get these people off the road is to call 000, then that's what it is there for.  I couldn't have lived with myself if I'd done nothing and they had been in an accident and the child hurt.

#14 Frockme

Posted 05 January 2013 - 01:32 PM

000. With out hesitation.

We were on the pacific highway on east coast nsw last week, one of the deadliest hwys in Australia and this is its busiest time of year. The section is notorious, single lane.
We were driving behind an L plater who was tail gating a petrol tanker.  ohmy.gif  he was swerving in and out of the middle of the road (single lane highway), obviously looking to overtake. He tried but had to pull back in, only in the nick of time before an oncoming caravan blasted his horn. He continued to try til the next town then roared ahead by using the empty left hand parking lane.

We got his number plate and state, make model and Colour of the car and approx location. Called 000. They were very thorough in questioning and thankful for the call.
I was preparing myself to see an horrific accident that night, oh yeah, this was night time on a poorly lit hwy too!
There are no words or too few words to describe the irresponsible fecking stupidity of that person.

#15 Whatsername

Posted 05 January 2013 - 01:36 PM

I have called the police before whilst seeing an erractic driver on the freeway (I was a passenger). I called the local police station closest to the nearest freeway exit. Not sure if the Police actioned it but I felt better knowing that I had reported them.

#16 Carabosse

Posted 05 January 2013 - 02:31 PM

You call 000.

We had this exact situation on a freeway. 000 operator put us through to Police who put the word out to the appropriate Police station/traffic division or whatever. They questioned us thoroughly about the car/rego and location. We were assured calling 000 is exactly what you are supposed to do in this sort of circumstance.

It is very scary when you see a car clearly being driven erratically at speed or in traffic (for whatever reason!)!

If we were at home or in our local area we would have possibly called the local station, but that is pretty impossible on a freeway.

Edited by Carabosse, 05 January 2013 - 02:32 PM.

#17 emnut

Posted 05 January 2013 - 02:44 PM

definitely 000 with rego & as much information about location as possible - several drink drivers have been reported as being caught this way in Victoria over the past month or so

#18 Lady Lovely Locks

Posted 05 January 2013 - 02:55 PM

DD and I were soooo close to being hit by an out of control drunk old man who crashed into the side of the bridge crossing over the highway. I made him pull over on the side street because his car was leaking radiator fluid and he was holding his head, couldnt walk properly and freely admitted he was drinking.....he then  drove off once he saw I was calling police, I never knew what happened after he drove off but I sure hope the police were able to find him!

#19 LittleRB

Posted 05 January 2013 - 03:01 PM

Call 000 and you will be directly to the relevant road/traffic authority.

DS and I were on the Monash freeway once and saw a guy driving a B-double weaving between lanes, speeding and literally driving up the back of cars in front of him - so much so he actually nudged one of the cars (going at 100 mind you). We rang 000 and were put through to someone (I can't remember who exactly but it wasn't police/ambulance/fire) and about 10 minutes later and a marked vehicle (I think it was VicRoads or Transport something or the other) sped up and got the truck drive to pull over.

Don't know what happened after that because we kept driving but I would definitely do this again. I would hate to think what would have happened if I'd seen the same truck on the news that night having hit and killed some poor innocent people.

#20 epl0822

Posted 05 January 2013 - 03:04 PM

I don't think you should call 000. That number is for when actual emergencies have occurred, not every time there is a potential for emergency. If every person used 000 to report dangerous driving how on earth is the guy having a heart attack going to get through?

#21 Bex_star

Posted 05 January 2013 - 03:14 PM

Put your local State Traffic Police station phone number into your mobile phone. When you see someone bing erratic or driving dangerously, you can call them, quote the rego number, description of the car and driver if possible as well as the location of the car and where they appear to be headed. If its a really bad situation, you can follow the car (at the speed limit) and keep updating the police as you have them on the line. They will assign a car to the location an deal with the situation. Never put yourself in danger though.

#22 raone

Posted 05 January 2013 - 03:17 PM

epl0882 I don't know about that.

We had an accident near us before christmas. A woman went the wrong way up a highway for ages ended up having a collision with another car. She killed four people in the other car and herself. Now I would definetly call 000 if I saw something that looked dangerous. Not just a mometary lapse in concentration though.

#23 OneDayDreamer

Posted 05 January 2013 - 03:21 PM

I have an aunt that's a cop - she said that you dial 000. In cases of unrestrained people in a car, in the case of drunk driving and so on.

#24 FloralArrangement

Posted 05 January 2013 - 03:48 PM

You call 000 the situation has great potential to cause death or injury to someone, "police would rather prevent an accident than attend a fatality". Words directly from a police officer I had to deal with when we had problems with a neighbour. It is not a waste of their time.

Edited by FloralArrangement, 05 January 2013 - 03:49 PM.

#25 Lyn29

Posted 05 January 2013 - 03:51 PM


Edited by bye, 29 March 2013 - 02:57 PM.

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