The California Highway Patrol has released their DUI arrest and fatality statistics for the holiday season that recently passed. However, it is honestly difficult to determine if the constant DUI checkpoints and rideshare options that are now readily available are doing much to make a difference. The CHP announced that there were 1,166 arrests statewide for DUI violations this year, compared to the 917 arrests made in 2017. These arrests were made by CHP officers during the period of 6:00 p.m. Friday, December 21st through 11:59 p.m. Tuesday, December 25th. During the New Year holiday weekend, from 6:00 p.m. Friday, December 28th to 12:00 p.m. Tuesday, January 1st, there were 1,053 arrests made statewide compared to the 936 DUI arrests made in 2017.
Fatalities during the Christmas holiday were also up to 34, compared to the 27 reported in 2017. However, thankfully, the New Year’s holiday seemed to fare better as there were 33 reported in 2018, compared to the 40 reported in 2017.
San Diego county appears to be doing well, as some reports are showing that the numbers seem to be going down in that county. During the same Christmas weekend period, there were a reported 56 arrests in 2017, while this number went down to 52 in 2018. Fatalities also went down to two in 2018, from the three reported in 2017. For the New Year’s weekend, 46 DUI arrests were made this year in comparison to the 59 arrests that were made in the previous year. Fatalities decreased from six in 2017 to four in 2018.
Although there was a decrease in arrests in San Diego county, there must have been some major increases in the other counties to have resulted in an overall statewide increase. It is a small comfort to know that the number of reported traffic fatalities are slowly decreasing but it seems that we still have a long way to go in truly having a better understanding of what it means to get behind the wheel after a few drinks of celebration.