It’s no secret that drunk driving is a huge problem in California. Thousands of people are injured or killed in alcohol-related car accidents every year. In fact, a recent statistic by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows that a person dies every 52 minutes due to drunk driving.
Key drunk driving statistics in California
According to the NHTSA, motor vehicle accidents involving alcohol kill more than 10,000 people in the United States annually. Although harshly enforced penalties and public awareness campaigns have helped to reduce the number of drunk driving accidents in California over the past few years, drunk driving still makes up 30% (1241) of all traffic fatalities.
NHTSA data shows that factors like age, gender and location could also contribute to the high number of drunk driving accidents in California. For example, alcohol-related fatalities are highest among young adults aged 21 to 24. Men are also more likely than women to be involved in fatal drunk driving accidents. And finally, rural areas have a higher rate of drunk driving fatalities than urban areas.
Reasons why drunk driving is such a problem in California
First, California has a large population and a lot of traffic on its roads. This means that there are more opportunities for accidents to happen. Californians also tend to drink more alcohol than people in other parts of the country (an average of 81.2 million gallons per year). This is especially true for younger adults who often go to bars and clubs on weekends.
Penalties for drunk driving in California
If caught driving with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08% or higher in California, you will be arrested and charged with a DUI. The consequences could be losing your driver’s license, paying hefty fines and even going to jail for up to 16 months in state prison.
The penalties will be even harsher if you are involved in an accident while drunk driving. You could face charges of vehicular manslaughter or felony DUI.
Car accidents can also be very costly to you as a person. Remember, insurance companies in California are not obligated to pay for your damages if your actions were intentional and illegal. Hence, you’ll pay for your own medical bills and car or property damages.