Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs (DUI) is a serious problem that affects traffic safety and public health. According to data from the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), 141,071 DUI convictions were recorded in the state in 2019, which represents an increase of 4.7% over the previous year. Additionally, according to the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS), there were 1,066 deaths and 15,337 injuries from DUI-related accidents in the same year.
These figures show that DUI is one of the leading causes of accidents and mortality on California roads, and that it especially affects young people. In fact, the age group with the most DUI convictions in 2019 was 21 to 24 years old, with 23.4% of the total. Likewise, the age group with the most fatalities due to DUI accidents in 2019 was those between 25 and 34 years old, with 28.8% of the total.
Measures to prevent and punish DUI implemented by California authorities
Given this situation, California authorities have implemented various measures to prevent and punish DUI, such as:
1. Establish a legal blood alcohol limit (BAC) of 0.08% for drivers over 21 years of age, and 0.01% for drivers under 21 and commercial drivers.
2. Impose fines, jail time, driver’s license suspension or revocation, and requiring offenders to attend a DUI education and prevention program.
3. Install ignition interlock devices (IIDs) in the vehicles of repeat offenders or those with a BAC greater than 0.15%.
4. Carry out awareness and sensitization campaigns about the risks and consequences of DUI.
5. Strengthen police controls and alcohol and drug tests on suspicious drivers.
These measures have had some positive results, such as decreasing the number of deaths from DUI accidents by 7.6% between 2018 and 2019. However, there is still much to be done to eradicate DUI and protect the lives of drivers, passengers and pedestrians.
If you have been charged with a DUI in California, you need the help of an expert attorney to advise you on your legal rights and options. At our criminal law firm we have the experience and knowledge to defend your case in court and the DMV. Contact us today, and we will offer you a confidential consultation.