DUI Statistics in Los Angeles CountyTed Burgess
We’ve been seeing a lot more of these sobriety checkpoints as of late, and that’s part of the reason for the increase in DUI arrests in Los Angeles County.
If you live, work, or travel through Los Angeles County, you might have noticed that there has been an increase in the number of DUI checkpoints on our streets. This isn’t a figment of your imagination. DUI checkpoints are popping up along heavily traveled routes in Los Angeles County on a daily basis. This has led to a huge increase in DUI stops and arrests. Recent publications have put the annual number at almost 36,000. That’s 100 DUI arrests every day in Los Angeles County alone.
DUI Arrests Are on the Rise
There is no doubt that DUI arrests are becoming more prevalent in Los Angeles County. Simply look back at the data from the new Winter Holiday DUI Mobilization program. One hundred agencies made 2,268 DUI arrests between December 13, 2013, and January 1, 2014. The same program in the previous year netted 100 fewer arrests. This averages out to about 114 arrests per day. In 2008 and 2009, Los Angeles County officers made 32 and 71 arrests, respectively, in the period from December 26 to December 29. While it is a short time span, this only averages out to eight and 18 arrests per day, respectively. This is a significant increase in just a few years.
Why Are DUI Arrests Increasing?
I don’t think there is much doubt about the reason for the increase in DUI arrests. The police in Los Angeles County are actively seeking out drivers suspected of operating under the influence. Checkpoints and DUI mobilization units are frequently deployed and have had an astounding effect on the number of detentions, field sobriety tests, and arrests.
How Much Will a DUI Conviction Cost?
DUI convictions are not cheap. A first offense can cost upwards of $15,000 in fees and fines and a suspended license. For minors, the expense can reach into the $22,000 range. Then, because DUI convictions remain on your record for ten years, that’s many years of higher insurance rates as well. This is only if your blood alcohol level is below 0.20% and you haven’t been involved in an accident or misdemeanor. If this isn’t your first offense, you have blown a 0.20% or higher, or you have been in an accident, the fines and penalties are much steeper and there could be jail time involved. Having a child in the vehicle increases your exposure and adds the possibility of being charged with reckless endangerment of a minor. Also, starting in 2014, all persons receiving a DUI, including a first time DUI, are required to install an ignition interlock device on their car for a period of time.
Now, here’s the real shocker. A DUI conviction in Los Angeles County can have all the following repercussions:
- Revocation of the right to carry a firearm
- Reduction of your credit rating
- Increased health insurance costs
- Loss of the right to vote
- Loss of a commercial driver’s license
- Revocation of your pilot’s license
- Impound of your vehicle
- Loss of the ability to drive a company car
- DUI classes and licensing fees
If I Get Arrested for DUI, What Should I Do?
Statistically, your chances for getting arrested for DUI are much higher now than they were even five years ago. If you have been detained and charged with a DUI, contacting an experienced DUI lawyer is your best option. There is quite a bit at stake, even for a first-time offense.
By Ted Burgess