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Drunk Drivers Behave Erratically Before and After a Crash

Being under the influence of alcohol impairs your sense of judgement and how you react to situations. Not only does this make car accidents more likely to occur, but it can impact how a drunk driver behaves after a crash. They may be more likely to flee the scene in an attempt to avoid a driving under the influence (DUI) charge, or they may become confrontational, either with law enforcement or with other drivers involved. A recent case of drunk driving in Portland highlights the dangers these drivers pose to themselves and others on the road.

Portland Drunk Driver Pulls Gun on Car Accident Victim

In a January 31, 2019 news report, Oregon Live reported on an unusual drunk driving accident that occurred in Portland near Southeast 8th Avenue and Division Street. The driver, 34-year-old Kelly L. Pyatt, is accused of rear ending another motorist who was in an SUV and stopped at a red light. Pyatt allegedly got out of his vehicle, surveyed the damage, and claimed it was ‘only a bump’. When the SUV driver disagreed, Pyatt became enraged. He pulled out a gun and swore at the other man, before getting back in his vehicle and leaving the scene.

Fortunately, a Portland police officer was several cars behind Pyatt and caught up with him after he hit a second vehicle in his attempt to get away. A blood alcohol content (BAC) test revealed Pyatt as being at .29 percent, which is more than three times over the legal limit. In the aftermath, Pyatt claimed he knew he was intoxicated, which is why he attempted to evade the accident and police.  

Protecting Yourself Against a Drunk Driver

When you are on the road or stopped at traffic signs or signals, it is important to be aware of the signs that another driver may be under the influence. In many cases, their behavior behind the wheel gives them away. Auto insurer National General advises being alert to the following:

  • Failure to turn on headlights;
  • Making sudden stops or turns;
  • Striking curbs or other objects;
  • Drifting and swerving in and out of their lane;
  • Driving either well below or above the speed limit;
  • Tailgating and other aggressive driving behaviors.

In the event a car accident occurs, your first response should be to notify law enforcement officials. Give them your name, your location, and a description of the other vehicle involved. If you suspect the other driver may be intoxicated or you are concerned about the possibility of a confrontation, simply wait in your vehicle until police arrive and can supervise the exchange of personal identification and insurance information. Even if the other driver attempts to flee, your report and description can help police apprehend them.

Contact Us Today for Help

If you suffer injuries in a car accident involving a drunk driver, the Johnston Law Firm is here to help you get the compensation you need to recover. Call our office at (503) 546-3167 or contact our Portland car accident attorneys online to request a consultation 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.