How has your summer been going so far? Southern California is a great place to spend the summer, whether you are here for school or vacation, or you're a native.
Because we are Southern California DUI defense lawyers, we see many people, especially young people, whose summers are not going well because they have been arrested for drunk driving. Steven R. Andrade uses a number of effective DUI defense strategies to help clients minimize the disruption a DUI arrest can cause. Mr. Andrade is ready to stand up for you too if you need legal assistance for any alcohol- or drug-related arrest in Santa Barbara.
Though many police departments crack down on drunk driving each summer, many also publicize their DUI checkpoints, including the Santa Barbara police, the Santa Barbara Sheriff's Office and Goleta police and the Los Angeles police.
They do not want you to drive after drinking.
The LAPD says in its news release that over the past three years, there have been 7,048 DUI-related traffic collisions in Los Angeles, which have resulted in 60 fatalities and 2,818 injuries.
More pointedly, the 2015 edition of an annual report about DUI arrests in California says there were 37,559 arrests for DUI in Los Angeles County in 2013 – 5.5 percent fewer than in 2012. But there were 2,261 DUI arrests in Santa Barbara County in 2013, a 1.4 percent increase from 2012.
Overall, there were 160,388 DUI arrests across California in 2013, which, continues a steady year-to-year decline over the last decade.
The bigger problem is that more people are dying in drunk driving crashes. The same report to the state legislature shows 1,197 alcohol-related crash fatalities in 2013, a 2.4 percent increase from the previous year. This followed a 7.3 percent increase from 2011 to 2012.
Don't say it won't happen to you if you drink and drive. Of all fatal crashes in California in 2013, 38.6 percent involved alcohol. Another 28.7 percent were drug-related. Among motor vehicle accidents involving injuries, 10.4 percent involved a driver who was drinking.
It might also be of interest to you that the report shows a 73.7 percent conviction rate in DUI arrests in 2012. As the LAPD points out, a DUI or drug-impaired arrest can cost up to $10,000 or even more, including time in jail, revocation of your driver's license and a big jump in your auto insurance rates.
Enough statistics. You know it's a mistake to get behind the wheel after you have been drinking. And we know from our work as DUI defense attorneys that it's a mistake that many good people make, including many college students.
Alcohol-related accidents are all preventable accidents. We think the designated driver approach is the best way to avoid drunk driving. Pick someone in your group who will stay sober and drive. A designated driver is not a buzzed driver. That is still impaired driving and it is not safe. If you can't come up with a sober driver, take public transportation, a cab or stay on foot.
No one wants to see you get hurt or to hurt anyone else because you've been drinking and driving. No one wants you to get arrested and charged with DUI. No one wants you to drive while impaired by alcohol or drugs.
Please look after yourselves and each other, and stay safe for the last weeks of your Southern California summer.
If you have been arrested for DUI, it's important to exercise your right not to incriminate yourself and contact an attorney. You can read more here about other important steps to take after a DUI arrest.