Some states have passed harsh drinking and driving laws in an effort to persuade people from driving while they are drunk. These laws mean drivers who are over the legal drinking limit will face fines, the loss of their license, and in some cases even jail time. One state that has really cracked down on DUIs is California.
California has some of the strictest DUI laws in the country, and it is a good example of how laws can affect the number of drunk driving accidents. Let’s take a look at some facts about DUI in California to determine whether or not their harsher punishments have had any effect on drunk driving rates in the state.
DUI in California
Just like the rest of the country, California has been trying to eliminate the issue of drunk drivers on the road for many years. Drunk driving is one of the most significant causes of accidents in the state. Despite stricter laws and public education campaigns that are meant to draw attention to the problem, drunk driving still persists.
In recent years, there has been a tremendous success in this fight with a significant reduction of road accidents across the state and the entire country. This is, at least in part, the result of lawmakers’ efforts to hold drunk drivers accountable.
Strict DUI Laws and Accidents
Research done in the United States has sent mixed signals about strict DUI laws and accidents in the nation. The results of these studies do not necessarily inspire confidence that strict drunk driving laws are working.
South Dakota is one of the states with the most lenient drunk driving laws. It is also the state that has the highest number of accident fatalities. Other states with similar relaxed drunk driving laws, such as North Dakota, Montana, and Kentucky, show higher road accidents and fatalities, which significantly support the research findings.
However, Arizona, which has some strict drunk driving laws, records significant road accidents and deaths every year. Therefore, the strict rules in this state do not support a decrease in road accidents. This means that other contributing factors have been causing severe road accidents in the state, thereby leading to road fatalities.
The fact that one state shows contrary results to other states in the country is not enough to dispute the research findings. Strict DUI laws are bringing down the huge number of accidents on the highways across the country and reducing fatalities.
As it stands, the United States has the least road accidents and fatalities, which can be attributed to the country’s strict laws. Some of the punishments that DUI drivers are facing include:
- License cancelations
- License suspensions
- High fines
- Jail terms
Teen drivers who choose to drink and drive may lose their licenses even if they were under the legal blood alcohol concentration limit. Drivers who have already had previous DUI convictions or who cause serious injuries or fatalities may face felony charges with steep consequences, including lengthy prison sentences.
DUI Accidents in California
Although the number of DUI accidents has significantly reduced in California due to the strict laws, it does not mean that these accidents are not still happening. Despite the laws, people continue to drive while intoxicated.
According to one DUI lawyer in California, if you’re arrested in this strict state, your lawyer’s understanding of the law may even result in the charges against you being reduced or dropped. An attorney can guide you through the case as they have a comprehensive understanding of the DUI laws in the state and are better suited to present them in court.