Just about a month into the New Year, we learn that the California Highway Patrol is taking a no nonsense approach to Drunk Driving. On New Year’s Eve between 6 P.M and 6 A.M, the CHP arrested 108 drivers who were found to be intoxicated over the legal limit in Los Angeles County alone. This number has jumped up by 20 arrests since last year. These arrests include only those that were made by the CHP. The actual number arrested is higher when all local police departments are taken into consideration.
These numbers are from a single night, and when taken alone seem to be tolerable for a huge city like Los Angeles. However, there were seven fatalities in the county alone on that one night. That is seven people who lost their lives due to a careless decision, and innumerable amount of people who lost someone from their lives. The statistics from New Years Eve in Los Angeles County are analogous to those seen around the State of California. Government officials have not only taken notice to the alarming numbers increasing year after year, but are taking drastic actions to deter offenders and help protect the public.
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in a speech given on October 13, 2009 at the signing legislation AB 91 explained that it was crucial that we cut down on drunk drivers as it is becoming a serious problem in California. He noted that last year alone there were 1,335 DUI related fatalities and it was “inexcusable” that on a daily basis law enforcement arrested about 550 different drunk drivers which came out to more than 200,000 arrests a year. He further commented that he found it “outrageous” that 25% of these offenders were repeat offenders. As a result he has increased the amount of checkpoints, introduced new legislation and increased penalties to help decrease the growing problem.
Senator Bob Huff enthusiastically supported the Governor’s concern by stating that there are 310,000 drivers on the roads in California that have has three or more DUI convictions and 44,210 have had five or more.
Don’t be the one that gets arrested for a DUI this year especially with new legislation and more severe consequences. With changes being made,smake the right decision after the fact. Understand the severity of the arrest, the impact it will have on all facets of your life and seek the appropriate legal help.