Valentine’s Day is a day to celebrate love and friendship with our partners, family, or friends. Still, it is also one of the dates with the most DUI (Driving Under the Influence) arrests in California, according to data from the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS).

What factors contribute to the increase in DUI arrests on Valentine’s Day?

Many people take advantage of Valentine’s Day to go out for a meal, have wine or champagne, or enjoy a drink at a bar or nightclub. However, often, they need to realize the amount of alcohol they consume, or they need to wait longer for the alcohol to metabolize before driving.

OTS states that the legal blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit for driving in California is 0.08% for drivers over 21 years old and 0.01% for drivers under 21 and commercial license holders. However, alcohol can impair drivers’ reaction time, judgment, coordination, and vision, even with a BAC below the legal limit, increasing the likelihood of accidents.

What are the consequences of driving drunk on Valentine’s Day?

Driving drunk on Valentine’s Day not only endangers the life of the driver and others but can also result in severe legal, financial, and social penalties. According to California law, drunk drivers may face:

  • Fines
  • License suspension or revocation
  • Alcohol education courses
  • Installation of an ignition interlock device
  • Community service
  • Jail or prison time

Additionally, driving drunk can negatively affect the reputation, career, relationships, and mental health of offenders. Therefore, it is best to avoid driving if you have consumed alcohol and opt for other safer and more responsible alternatives such as public transportation, taxis, ridesharing services, or a designated driver.