A Sure Sign of Drunk Driving? If It’s Sticking Out of the Roof…

Image courtesy South Hackensack Police Dept.

As we’ve noted before, police use a variety of ways to detect if a driver is impaired. Some are pretty obvious to the untrained eye:

  • Hitting the curb or drifting to the side of the road
  • Swerving or veering into the oncoming lane
  • Driving excessively slowly
  • Sudden, jerky movements

Other signs might seem like plain old bad driving to most people, but cops might feel a DUI coming on:

  • Making too wide turns
  • Failing to use turn signal
  • Driving without headlights at night
  • Tailgaiting
  • Lane changes that are too slow, too fast, or otherwise erratic

And there are a few other signs as well:

  • Waiting at a stoplight when the light has turned green
  • Keeping the window open despite cold weather, to help alertness

But there is another sign of drunk driving that recently alerted not just police but other drivers on Route 46 in Hackensack, New Jersey. It was:

  • A sign

The driver had somehow hit a NJ Transit sign, which somehow flipped and stuck into the roof of her Lexus. Unaware of the sign, she kept driving until she was pulled over, tested, and found to be intoxicated.

All right, it doesn’t take a crack detective to figure out that a driver with a road sign sticking out of a sunroof is probably on something. Still, we’re glad the South Hackensack Police made the collar.

However, the case is a good reminder of how dangerous drunk driving is. If a motorist isn’t aware of a road sign in the car, they’re not aware of road signs on the road. Or pedestrians, or other cars either. And that is why alcohol exact such a grim price from this nation on wheels: ten thousand lives a year.

If you see someone you think is driving drunk, call it in. You’ll be doing the world a favor. It’ll be one fewer road hazard. Instead of, as in this case, one fewer road sign.