When people think of locations where DUI arrests would be most prevalent, they think of club and bar scenes like those found on the Sunset Strip, or in Hollywood, downtown San Diego, Huntington Beach, and San Francisco. People wouldn’t think that California’s Wine Country would be among that list.
However, according to a new report by NBC’s Bay Area Investigative Unit, Napa and Sonoma Counties have among the highest rates of DUI arrests in California.
According to the report, California averaged 0.8 arrests per one hundred licensed drivers. That number jumps to 1.2 arrests per hundred licensed drivers for Napa County and one arrest per one hundred licensed drivers in Sonoma County.
Surprisingly, according to the Napa Police Department and the California Highway Patrol, the majority of DUI arrests in both Napa and Sonoma County come from locals rather than tourists. This statistic should not be misinterpreted by tourists of California’s Wine County. Wineries are, in general, sophisticated and elegant, creating the façade that they’re not associated with getting visitors drunk. In contrast to your local dive bar, where patrons are tossing back shots of hard alcohol, wine tasting at a sophisticated winery often gives the visitor a false sense of sobriety.
Thinking about wine tasting in the county’s best wine growing area? Remember two things: the alcohol content of wine ranges from 8-23% and is capable of getting someone drunk regardless of how classy the wine or the winery is. And two, just because you’re a tourist doesn’t mean you will not get arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence. My suggestion? Opt for a limo tour of Wine Country.
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