Drunk driving risks in Long Beach, California

Drunk driving claimed 174 lives in Los Angeles County in 2013, more than in any other county in California.

The Orange County Breeze reported that a recent DUI checkpoint set up by the Long Beach Police Department resulted in two DUI arrests in just one night. A story in LA Weekly highlights the reality that people have alternatives to drinking and driving. A technology company has developed an app that will dispatch a driver to pick up a person and vehicle and take them home if they have had too much to drink. Called By My Designated Driver, or BeMyDD for short, this is just one more way that drunk driving accidents can and should be avoided.

The reality is startling

Drunk driving claims lives. Even one fatal accident is one too many. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that Los Angeles County was the site of the most alcohol-related traffic fatalities in the entire state in 2013. Specific numbers are as follows:

  • A total of 174 people died in drunk driving crashes in Los Angeles County.
  • Riverside County was the site of 84 drunk driving deaths.
  • In San Bernardino County, 71 lives were lost at the hands of drunk drivers.
  • San Diego and Orange Counties rounded out the list of counties with the most drunk driving deaths with 57 and 54, respectively.

Statewide, 867 vehicular fatalities were attributed to alcohol that year out of a total 3,000 motor vehicle fatalities.

The Century Council also highlights the serious nature of people who drive with high levels of alcohol in their blood. In California in 2012, almost 73 percent of all drunk driving fatalities were caused by drivers with BAC levels over 0.14 percent.

Headlines tell the story

It only takes a quick search to find stories of how drunk driving remains a problem in California. A few recent incidents include:

  • An 18-year old man remains in long-term care after being hit by a drunk driver last year. The San Gabriel Valley Tribune notes that the 22-year old driver had a blood alcohol level of 0.20 at the time of the accident.
  • A 68-year old man died when a drunk driver moved into the oncoming lanes of traffic according to ABC7.com. The at-fault driver has been charged with vehicular manslaughter.
  • The Boston Herald notes that professional football player Jeremy Stevens has been arrested on DUI charges in Los Angeles. This is his second such arrest in a period of 10 years and it will be handled as a misdemeanor.

These are just a sampling of stories that should make clear to Long Beach residents that drunk driving is an everyday risk in Southern California.

Anyone involved in an accident caused by an impaired driver should seek legal help promptly. This involves not only direct victims but family members as well.

Keywords: drunk driving, accident, injury