Local authorities here in Orange County have been busy acquiring grants from the Office of Traffic Safety to expand their safe driving policies including adding more checkpoints and public education programs. Several cities including Costa Mesa and Newport Beach have been Orange County leaders in enforcing laws to prevent intoxicated drivers from driving our local streets and possibly causing serious personal injury to other drivers. We are now entering the holiday driving season and increase probabilities of experiencing an incident with a drunk driver.
Every 31 minutes someone is killed in an alcohol-related accident. In fact Americans who drink and drive after holiday parties and celebrations make the period between Thanksgiving and New Year’s one of the year’s most deadly and dangerous seasons due to alcohol-related crashes. This is a main reason why since 1981, every President of the United States has demonstrated his commitment to preventing impaired driving by proclaiming December as National Drunk and Drugged Driving Prevention Month
Recent studies by the Center for Disease Control, CDC back up the claim that sobriety checkpoints during the holiday season do work and in fact, in communities where they have checkpoints, alcohol-related injury crashes are down 24%. A spokesman for the Costa mesa Police Department said that DUI’s are down significantly this year.
According to California statistics, each year nearly 130,000 persons are arrested for driving under the influence or DUI. Of those, only small percentages are repeat offenders. Actually most alcohol-impaired drivers-a whopping 80%-are actually binge drinkers. Although many people believe that only college student are binge drinkers, but this type of drinking is also prevalent with older adults as well.
A fairly new tool California and many other states are using is the ignition interlock device. Basically it is attached to your car and you must breathe into it to start your car. If the machine detects alcohol, it won’t start. Once underway, the driver must continue to breathe into the machine to ensure uninhibited driving. Should it detect alcohol at any point, the car’s alarm system will activate to notify police, and in some newer cases the car’s engine may even shut down automatically.
A DUI arrest in the State of California means automatic suspension of your license; impound of your car, higher insurance and maybe some jail time. It’s just not worth the aggravation. If you are convicted, it is mandatory that your car will have some type of ignition interlock device placed in your automobile. Not exactly the “added feature” one would like in the car.
If you are involved in an injury auto accident involving alcohol or not, don’t hesitate to contact a professional law firm such as Allen, Flatt, Ballidis and Leslie. Call us at 1 888 752-7474. We are experienced attorneys that will guide you through the maze of paperwork while you work on getting back on your feet.
Have a Happy Holiday season and remember to always designate a safe driver when attending a party of holiday function.