DUI (driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs) is a crime that can carry legal, economic, and social sanctions for offenders. In California, DUI laws are strict, and penalties depend on the type and severity of the violation, as well as the driver’s history. In this article, we tell you about some of the DUI trends expected for 2024 in this state.

Increase in fatal DUI accidents

According to a report from the California Highway Patrol, the number of people who died in DUI accidents in California increased by 16% in 2023 compared to 2022. This increase reflects a similar trend occurring nationwide and is related to factors such as the pandemic, stress, substance use, and lack of public transportation. This trend is expected to persist into 2024, so drivers are advised to avoid driving if they have used alcohol or drugs, or to use alternatives such as ride-hailing services or taxis.

Changes to DUI Laws and Penalties

DUI laws and penalties in California vary depending on several factors, such as the blood alcohol level (BAC), the number of previous violations, the presence of injuries or damage, and the type of driver’s license. Some of the modifications planned for 2024 are:

1. Expanding the ignition interlock device (IID) pilot program to the entire state. IIDs are devices that prevent the vehicle from operating if the driver has a higher than permitted BAC. Currently, the program only applies to four counties (Alameda, Los Angeles, Sacramento, and Tulare) but is expected to expand statewide in 2024.

DUI penalties vary by county. Each county has its own rules and procedures for imposing DUI penalties, which can include fines, jail, probation, DUI school, and restitution, among others. One county is stricter than another, and more variation is expected in 2024.