For many Californians, the Labor Day holiday marks the end of the summer. It is also a peak period for drunk driving arrests. This year was no different, as more than 2,000 people were arrested on suspicion for driving under the influence in California over the Labor Day weekend.
According to the California Highway Patrol (CHP), at least 30 people were killed in California during the Labor Day weekend. They also estimate 2,017 drivers were arrested on suspicion of drunk driving. This includes drivers arrested with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08% or higher, commercial drivers with a BAC of 0.04% or higher, and drivers under the age of 21 with any measurable level of alcohol in the body.
Every year, the CHP, local law enforcement, and the California Office of Traffic Safety have been trying to spread the news about Labor Day DUI enforcement. This includes public service announcements, drunk driving patrols, and increased sobriety checkpoints. Despite these notifications of DUI enforcement, hundreds of California drivers end up drinking too much and trying to drive home.
In 2015, the Labor Day weekend reported 35 people killed in automobile accidents and more than 2,160 arrests. This year's reduction in drunk driving arrests may be a continuation of the decreasing DUI trend. Over the last 30 years, there has been an overall reduction in drunk driving arrests and alcohol-related fatalities.
In Southern California, CHP officers reported 64 arrests on suspicion of DUI in San Diego County. In Los Angeles, two people were killed, and almost 400 were arrested. The year before, 10 people were killed in traffic accidents and about the same number of people were arrested on suspicion of drunk driving.
Statewide, DUI arrests have continued their slight downward trend. As of the Labor Day weekend, there were about 978 drunk driving arrests in Southern California. Last year, there were more than 1,000 DUI arrests over the same period. Northern California saw similar drunk driving arrests compared to the year before.
While the number of drunk driving arrests continues to decrease, the number of arrests involving drivers under the influence of drugs has continued to increase. This includes not only illegal narcotics such as heroin and methamphetamines. It also includes prescription drugs and medical marijuana.
As California looks to legalize marijuana for recreational use, the number of drugged driving offenses may rise. States that have already implemented legalized marijuana policies, such as Colorado, Oregon, and Washington, have seen a rise in arrests related to driving under the influence of marijuana. This continues to be a problem for innocent drivers who used marijuana days before they got behind the wheel.
At the Gorelick Law Offices, attorney Lynn Gorelick has dedicated her legal career to defending individuals facing drunk driving charges in the East Bay. With over 30 years of DUI defense experience, Lynn Gorelick understands what it means to fight for you. Contact the local East Bay DUI defense attorney who will stand up for your rights, so you can keep a clean record and stay out of jail.