Recent years have seen fewer DUI arrests. However, it was the time period that saw an increase in the number of impaired driving crashes. According to a news report in The Orange County Register, the number of DUI collisions resulting in death or injury has been on the rise as of late, both in Orange County and statewide. And an increasing number of these crashes involve people who were on drugs rather than alcohol.
Statewide, fatalities tied to alcohol crept up, from 1,072 in 2010 to 1,197 in 2013. Fatalities involving drugged driving rose from 696 to 892 over the same period. Orange County had one of the highest DUI conviction rates in the entire state of California. Arrests for driving under the influence dove nearly 26 percent in Orange County from their peak in 2008 through 2013. However, the number of crashes resulting in death or injury in Orange County fell just 13 percent from a recent peak in 2005 through 2013.
No Reason to Drive Drunk
There is a number of taxi, limo, rideshare and designated driver options available to motorists. Last year, the free California Office of Traffic Safety launched its Designated Driver VIP mobile app, featuring exclusive offers and discounts to sober designated drivers at participating bars and restaurants. On New Year’s Eve AAA offers Tipsy Tow services for Southern California drivers where they will tow your car at no cost while you get a safe ride home. So, really, there is absolutely no excuse for driving drunk.
Tips for New Year’s Day
New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day are among the most dangerous days for drivers, specifically because of the number of inebriated drivers on the road. According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, alcohol-related fatalities increase by 150 percent between Thanksgiving and January 3. Here are a few tips that can help keep you safe this New Year’s Eve:
- Designate a driver if you are going to be partying.
- Remember, it is dangerous to walk or take public transportation if you are drunk.
- Don’t count on coffee to sober you up.
- If it’s an option, stay the night with your guest.
- Keep tabs on your teens. Discuss the dangers of drunk driving with them and know where your teen plans to be during the holiday.
- Never get in a car with a drunk driver.
We hope you have a safe and happy holiday. Drive Safely!