NBC San Diego reported last week that DUI fatalities in San Diego County in 2021 are already beyond any previous year on record.
On Tuesday, October 13, 2021, representatives of law enforcement officials and prosecutors say that 35 people have died in alcohol-related accidents that ended in one or more fatalities. This is the most significant number of DUI-related traffic deaths on record in a decade. In 2020, a total of 33 people lost their lives in DUI crashes in San Diego County.
Officials say that, on average, the number of fatal DUI accidents has been between 15 -20 per annually.
According to the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office, drivers arrested on the charge of DUI have a blood-alcohol level of .18% on average. This is more than twice the legal limit of 0.08%.
Authorities across the state are concerned that even non-fatal DUIs are on the increase. Today, more motorists are getting behind the wheel under the influence of alcohol and marijuana, and even prescription drugs.
In order to combat this problem, law enforcement agencies in San Diego County are using grants received at the state and federal levels to help cut down the number of DUI-related incidents on our streets and roads. The San Diego District Attorney’s Office will receive a grant of $530,000 from the Office of Traffic Safety to be explicitly used to prosecute DUI-homicide cases.
Law enforcement will use similar grant monies toward prevention and awareness campaigns at local schools, colleges, and military bases. Police departments and the California Highway Patrol have also recently stepped up the number of DUI checkpoints to catch drivers under the influence of alcohol or drugs.