Police car emergency lighting fixtures switched on. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
As people celebrated Cinco de Mayo over the weekend, authorities arrested 466 motorists for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol in Los Angeles County, reported the Los Angeles Times. The holiday DUI crackdown, which included authorities from 100 law enforcement agencies and involved DUI patrols and sobriety checkpoints, began on Friday and ended Monday night. DUI saturation patrols were also planned for Orange County over the weekend; however, the sheriff’s department here has yet to release information concerning how many arrests were made.
In 2012, fatalities in collisions involving drunk drivers increased 4.6 percent, claiming 10,322 lives compared to 9,865 in 2011, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Drivers with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .15 or higher, nearly twice the legal limit, were responsible for the majority of those accidents. Alcohol was a contributing factor to 6,562 of the accidents that caused injury or death in Los Angeles County that year.
DUI checkpoints have been shown to decrease fatality rates by an average of 20 percent.
Throughout the state, the next DUI crackdown will be held over Memorial Day weekend, one of the deadliest holidays of the year, with traffic accidents claiming 29 lives and injuring 1,818 people in 2011.
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