DMV Study: California DUI Arrests at a Low


On May 18th the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) issued a report on driving under the influence statistics in California. The “Annual Report of the California DUI Management Information System,” which reports to the California Legislature, found that, overall, DUI arrests are at their lowest since 2005.

DUI involved accidents are at their lowest since 2006. In its report, the DMV quoted the following conclusions: –        Drug-involved crash fatalities declined slightly, by 2.4% in 2010, but still reflect an increase of 63% in the past decade, from 428 in 2000 to 696 in 2010. –        Of the total number of crash fatalities, the percentage of alcohol-involved fatalities decreased from 41.1% in 2009 to 39.2% in 2010. However, the percentage of drug-involved fatalities increased from 23.2% to 25.5% during the same time period. –        The number of persons injured in alcohol-involved crashes decreased by 7.1% in 2010, following a decrease of 8.4% in 2009. –        DUI arrests decreased by 6.1% in 2010, following a decrease of 2.9% in 2009 and increases of 5.4% in 2008, 3.4% in 2007, and 9.4% in 2006. –        The DUI arrest rate declined by 6.5% in 2010 following a decline of 2.9% in 2009. –        13.4% of all 2009 DUI arrests were associated with a reported traffic crash, compared to 14.2% in 2008. 5.2% of 2009 DUI arrests were associated with crashes involving injuries or fatalities, relatively unchanged from 5.5% in 2008. –        Among 2010 DUI arrestees, Hispanics (43.7%) again constituted the largest racial/ethnic group, as they have each year since 1992 (with the exception of 1999). Hispanics continued to be arrested at a rate substantially higher than their estimated percentage of California’s adult population (33.7% in 2010). –        The median (midpoint) age of a DUI arrestee in 2010 was 30 years. Less than 1% of all DUI arrests were juveniles (under age 18). –        Among convicted DUI offenders arrested in 2009, 73.0% were first offenders and 27.0% were repeat offenders (one or more prior convictions within the previous 10 years). The proportion of repeat offenders has decreased considerably since 1989, when it stood at 37%. –        The median blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of a convicted DUI offender, as reported by law enforcement on Administrative Per Se (APS) forms, was 0.15% in 2009, same as in the last 5 years, yet almost double the California illegal per se BAC limit of 0.08%. –        10.1% of 2009 DUI arrest cases did not show any corresponding conviction on DMV records, which is relatively unchanged from 10.0% in 2008. Moral of the story: Don’t become a statistic and certainly don’t contribute any negative change to the positive trends the report shows us. For the full report see: http://apps.dmv.ca.gov/about/profile/rd/r_d_report/Section_5/S5-236.pdf

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