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Death and injury rates associated with DUI in California

In California between the years of 2003 and 2012, some 10,327 individuals were killed by drunk drivers. Despite the high rate, California's death rate from these types of accidents was remarkably lower in the state versus nationwide.

For example, among the 0-20 age group, while 1.3 percent were involved in these type of accidents nationwide, only 0.9 were in California. For the 21- to 34-year-old demographic, 6.7 percent were killed versus 4.5 percent in California.

For the 35 years old and older demographic, 3.1 percent died nationwide whereas 1.8 percent were killed in California. In terms of an aggregate total of all ages, 3.3 percent nationwide were killed as a result of their involvement in drunk driving accidents in comparison with 2 percent in California.

As for gender, in 2012, 5.2 percent per 100,000 males were involved in fatal DUI-related car crashes nationwide versus 3.2 percent in California. For females, 1.5 percent were involved in these types of accidents nationwide versus 1 percent in California.

Self-reported statistics compiled by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggest there's very little difference among problem at-risk behaviors whether it is on the national or state level. According to the data they compiled, 1.9 percent of individuals nationwide versus 1.8 percent in California reported having operated a motor vehicle despite having consumed too much alcohol in 2012.

Measures that have been imposed in an effort to curb instances of drunk driving include increasing the number of sobriety checkpoints in proven problem areas and the imposition of automatic license suspension laws for those found to have blood alcohol concentrations (BAC) over the legal limit. Required installation of ignition interlock devices and public service campaigns have shown to be effective in reducing drunk driving fatalities as well.

California and other states have imposed progressively stricter penalties for those found to be driving drunk in hopes that harsher sentences will also result in a reduction in vehicular-related injuries and deaths. Therefore, if you've been charged with drunk driving, it's important that you begin developing your defense as soon as possible. An attorney experienced in drunk driving cases can help you determine what steps to take next.

Source:, "Sobering facts: drunk driving in California," accessed May 11, 2017

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