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As a Passenger, What to Do When a Drunk Driver Puts You at Risk

You are at a local restaurant, nightclub, or attending a social event with friends where alcohol is being served. Maybe you made an agreement earlier in the evening to designate one of the people with you as a designated driver. Unfortunately, as you are getting ready to head home, you realize they may have had too much to drink. What do you do in this situation? Drunk driving accidents are a leading cause of life-threatening injuries and fatalities throughout Portland and the surrounding areas. In addition to endangering the lives of others on the road, drunk drivers put their passengers at serious risk.

Mother Charged with Driving Under the Influence After Daughter Jumps or Falls From Vehicle

In nearby Yamhill County, a criminal trial is underway for a mother charged with DUI after her adult daughter was found dead due to jumping or falling from the vehicle. According to an October 2018 report by KATU 2, the women were on their way home from a wedding when a fight ensued in the vehicle. Authorities claim that the mother, 50-year-old Jennifer Weathers, was reluctant to leave the affair. At some point in their journey home, she and her daughter, 27-year-old Meighan Cordie, began arguing.

The mother reported the daughter missing the next day, claiming that she slowed down to roughly five miles per hour and the daughter willingly got out of the vehicle, leaving her own three-year-old child behind and secured into a car seat. However, when the daughter’s body was found several days later, the force of impact indicated that the vehicle was likely traveling at much higher speeds. It is still unclear as to weather Cordie jumped or was actually pushed to her death. Weathers is being charged with driving under the influence and reckless endangerment.

Reducing Your Risks as a Passenger

It is nearly impossible to monitor the total amount another is drinking. Unfortunately, even one or two alcoholic beverages is enough to make someone a danger on the roads. As a passenger, how can you be sure that the driver you are with is not impaired? The American Automobile Association (AAA) recommends that if you have any doubts at all, take an Uber or find another way home. If you are already in the vehicle, be alert to the following signs:

  • Driving either below or above the speed limit;
  • Weaving in and out of lanes;
  • Trouble in navigating turns and curves in the road;
  • Slow response times to traffic signals or changes in traffic conditions.

Attempting to exit or jump out of the vehicle while it is moving will only increase your injury risks. Instead, make an excuse to have the driver pull over and notify local law enforcement immediately.

Our Portland DUI Accident Attorneys Are Here To Assist You

At the Johnston Law Firm, we can help if you have suffered injuries due to the actions of a drunk driver. To request a consultation to discuss your specific case, contact our Portland DUI accident attorneys today.


Marc Johnston

Lead Attorney at Johnston Law Firm, P.C.

Based in downtown Portland, Marc A. Johnston is the owner and managing attorney of the award-winning, internationally-known personal injury law firm, Johnston Law Firm, P.C. Marc's career has been dedicated to representing the injured and individuals who have been treated unfairly by an insurance company. His focus on trial law creates the backbone of the Johnston Law Firm — a firm that is ready to go the distance in seeking justice for its clients.