In the early days of the coronavirus pandemic, drunk driving accidents dried up when most people had no need to get in their cars except for necessities. The early COVID days also saw increased alcohol consumption in many communities. However, as the world begins to reopen, the combination of more driving and drinking habits may increase the rate of alcohol-related accidents.
Increase in East Bay Drunk Driving Accidents
According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), alcohol-related deaths were up 9% last year, despite fewer cars on the road. Fatal car accidents increased 9% between 2019 and 2020 while miles traveled dropped 13%. Over the past few decades, drunk driving accidents were on a downward trend. Why did drunk driving in California increase over the past few years after declining impaired driving accidents?
Fatal traffic accidents increased about 7% between 2019 and 2020, with more than 38,000 fatal accidents in 2020. However, in that year, vehicle miles traveled decreased by more than 400 billion miles. According to the MADD president, “Evan as people drove less during the pandemic, they were more likely to use alcohol and, as a result, more likely to be involved in a fatal crash.”
Innocent People Arrested for a DUI
Many drivers are arrested for impaired driving during typical peak times for drunk driving. According to Berkeley’s Safe Transportation Research and Education Center, “the rate of alcohol-involved fatal and severe injuries was much higher at night, especially on the weekends.” Almost half of these accidents occur between 9 pm and 3 am. Police who make traffic stops during these hours may be expecting a greater chance of impaired driving, even if the driver is sober.
Just because there are more impaired-driver accidents does not mean that every DUI arrest is justified. Innocent people can be arrested for a DUI because of bad driving, expired expiration, or a broken tail light. Unfortunately, because drivers feel like they have no other choice, many defendants take a plea deal because they think they can't win their case.
An experienced East Bay California DUI defense attorney understands how the police operate and how the prosecutors pressure drivers. Drivers who are under the limit may even feel like they are guilty of a crime based on inaccurate chemical testing, faulty roadside sobriety tests, or unlawful stops. Drivers accused of drunk driving can reach out to a DUI defense lawyer in California to advise them of their rights instead of just listening to the prosecutor or DA.
Contact an East Bay DUI Lawyer
An arrest for a DUI carries a lot of stigma, even if the driver has not been found guilty of any crime. If the driver is found guilty or takes a plea deal, they can face thousands in additional costs, as well as a suspended license, possible jail time, and DUI school. If you want to know your options, contact an East Bay DUI attorney who can help you avoid a criminal record.
East Bay attorney Lynn Gorelick has more than 38 years of DUI experience and understands the challenges involved. Contact a local criminal defense lawyer who understands DUI defense strategies and plea bargain negotiations.