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Do you have the legal right to follow someone who is obviously drunk?

Q. When you witness someone who is obviously very drunk get into their car and drive do you have the legal right to follow that person and call 911? Will the police stop the person and check for drunk driving based on your information?


A. There is no law prohibiting you to follow and report an intoxicated driver. Corporal Kevin Smith of the Wilmington Police Department said that the 911 Dispatch Center receives many calls of this nature. There is no legal requirement saying a person has to call 911 in this situation, but they have the right and the moral obligation to do so, according to Smith.

Police officers will stop and check the driver based on the information the caller gives. When reporting the possible offense, officers always encourage citizens to “be good eyes and ears”, giving a description of the vehicle, the location and the direction of travel. Smith pointed out that the most important thing to do is record and report the license plate number.

 Related links

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Do drunken drivers use River Road to avoid law enforcement?


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One Response to “ Do you have the legal right to follow someone who is obviously drunk?”

  1. On July 22, 2017 at 11:40 am Ron Jordan wrote:

    Why aren’t the obnoxious loud mufflers on cars and motorcycles enforced, some are deafening, a veh. came along side of me, mufflers so loud it caused me have heart palpitations.

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