Drunk Driving Statistics in California: Things to Know About CA’s DUI Laws and Penalties
People who drink and drive are susceptible to road accidents, as driving under the influence (DUI) or driving while intoxicated (DWI) can impair your judgment and compromise your senses. For that reason, drunk driving in California carries severe penalties.
This article will discuss California’s DUI laws, penalties, and what to do if a drunk driver injures you. Read on to find out the drunk driving statistics and how to prevent getting involved in alcohol-impaired accidents.
How Many Car Accidents Are Logged per Day?
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), more than five million car accidents have been reported daily in the U.S. since 2020. Around 43% of vehicular accidents resulted in injuries, equivalent to four car accident injuries per minute.
The World Health Organization (WHO) observed that more than half of road traffic deaths involve vulnerable road users like pedestrians, cyclists, and motorcyclists.
How Many People Die in Car Accidents Every Year?
Drunk driving statistics in California show a whopping 1,069 fatalities from car crashes in 2022. 30% of traffic fatalities in California were due to alcohol-related road accidents.
Around 29 people die daily due to drunk driving incidents across the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Annually, more than 10,000 people suffer from alcohol-impaired deaths.
Understanding California’s DUI Laws
Drivers under 21 years old are not allowed to carry alcohol inside the car unless supervised by a parent. The law also prohibits possessing or storing alcohol or cannabis products inside the vehicle except if full, sealed, and unopened. Open containers must be stored inside the trunk, away from the passengers.
Is a DUI Considered a Felony in California?
Driving with a BAC of 0.08% or higher is illegal in California. This is because vision impairments can begin with a BAC as low as .02. When caught driving under the influence, you will suffer the following consequences:
- Your vehicle is subject to impoundment for up to 30 days;
- Driving privileges may be suspended for up to 1 year;
- First driver’s license issuance could take up to 1 year;
- A fine of up to $1000
What To Do if a Drunk Driver Injures You?
If you’ve been injured in a drunk driving accident, you must know your legal rights to compensation. Below are the things to keep in mind after the accident:
Seek Medical Attention Right Away
The first thing you need to do is to seek medical attention immediately, regardless of whether your injury is only minor.
This way, you can avoid injuring yourself further and address any health issues as soon as possible. It also provides proof of the accident to build a strong personal injury case. Make sure to collect all documents related to your medical treatment, from prescriptions to x-rays.
Call the Police to the Scene of the Accident
While waiting for the police to arrive, gather some information and collect photos from the scene.
The police will ask questions about the accident and get witness statements. If you’re not badly injured and still conscious after the crash, make sure to ask the officer for a copy of the accident report.
Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer
They may also assist you in contacting the other party, their lawyer, and their insurance company, so you can reach a favorable settlement. They’ll represent you if you don’t reach a settlement and instead go to court.
Strategies to Prevent Alcohol-Impaired Driving
While federal laws prohibit driving under the influence, these are not enough to totally prevent drunk driving accidents. Below are some ways that the state reduces accidents due to alcohol-impaired drivers.
A sobriety checkpoint is a roadblock where police stop vehicles to test drivers if they’re under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Recent studies have proven that sobriety checkpoints significantly reduce the rates of impaired driving in many states.
High-Visibility Saturation Patrols
Aside from conducting sobriety checkpoints, assigning police patrols in designated areas to check for possible impaired driving behavior helps reduce accidents. When implemented regularly, drivers will likely be more careful to avoid penalties.
Ignition Interlocks for First-time and Regular Convicted Offenders
An ignition interlock device detects alcohol on your breath. It prevents vehicles from starting if drivers have a BAC above 0.02%. When installed in your car, it can hold you back from the likelihood of having a traffic accident due to alcohol impairment.
Alcohol Problem Assessment and Treatment Programs
Repeated drunk driving offenders must undergo treatment programs to monitor their condition closely. Specialized DWI courts require regular alcohol problem assessment for alcohol-impaired offenders.
There are several multi-component interventions in California to prevent DUI or DWI cases. These community mobilization programs aim to increase public awareness about the causes, risks, and fatal consequences of alcohol-impaired driving.
Talk to a Car Accident Lawyer in California
If someone has injured you after a drunk driving accident in California, it’s crucial to seek legal representation immediately, so you can recover financial losses from medical bills, lost wages, and property damage.
With decades of combined legal experience, our lawyers at Adamson Ahdoot are more than ready to handle your personal injury case properly.
Call us at (800) 310-1606 today to schedule your free consultation with a premier injury attorney.
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