Many factors contribute to drunk driving accidents in California. You may be wondering which drivers are most likely to be arrested for driving under the influence (DUI). You can use this article to find out what age group has the drunkest driving accidents around the country.
The professionals at the Simmrin Law Group can also help you go over other factors associated with drunk driving accidents. Focus on the laws designed to prevent these accidents and the legal repercussions for drunk driving convictions.
Driver Age in Drunk Driving Accidents
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) tracks and reports information about accidents around the country. According to the NHTSA, there were 10,344 fatal accidents involving drunk drivers. Of these accidents:
- 2,843 were caused by drivers aged 25-34
- 1,862 were caused by drivers aged 35-44
- 1,539 were caused by drivers aged 45-54
These subsections of the population represented the age groups with the most total deadly drunk driving accidents throughout the country. However, there are more drivers in these age groups than in other cohorts. By percentage, drivers aged 21-24 or most likely to be involved in fatal DUI crashes, though they did not have as many accidents (only 1,347) as other groups.
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Impact of Gender on Drunk Driving Accidents
We mentioned that there are many other factors that impact the odds that a driver will be involved in a drunk driving accident. Around the country, male drivers are far more likely to be in drunk driving accidents than females. In 2017:
- 8,022 male drivers were involved in fatal DUI accidents
- 1,944 female drivers were involved in fatal DUI accidents
This represents a small change since 2008 when the divide was more pronounced. In the last decade, more female drivers have caused DUI accidents, but they still don’t come close to male drivers.
Time of Day and Drunk Driving Accidents
Drunk driving accidents are more likely to occur during the nighttime than they are in the day. Per the NHTSA, there were:
- 2,497 fatal DUI crashes in the daytime in 2017
- 7,728 fatal DUI crashes in the nighttime in 2017
In fact, drivers are more than three times likely to be impaired by alcohol in the nighttime hours. This higher rate of inebriation increases the odds that a drunk driving accident will occur, potentially leading to motor vehicle damage, injuries, and deaths.
Drunk driving accidents are also more likely to occur on the weekend, with 5,566 fatal accidents on Saturdays and Sundays, as compared to 4,752 through the week. As you can see, this distinction is not as pronounced as some of our other comparisons.
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Vehicle Types and Drunk Driving Accidents
Drivers of some vehicles are more likely to be involved in DUI accidents. The NHTSA listed the following vehicles as most to least likely to experience a fatal drunk driving accident in 2017:
- Passenger cars
- Light trucks
- Large trucks
Some drivers in passenger vehicles and trucks decide not to use restraints, like seatbelts. This increases the likelihood of a fatality in a DUI accident in California.
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Defining Drunk Driving Accidents
Now that we have reviewed the statistics associated with drunk driving accidents, we can discuss the specifics of a DUI collision. According to legal codes throughout the country, a drunk driving accident occurs anytime a driver with a blood alcohol content (BAC) that exceeds the legal limits is involved in a wreck.
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), in the state of California, drivers must keep their BAC below:
- 0.08% if they are over 21
- 0.04% if they are commercial drivers
- 0.01% if they are under 21
Anyone with an elevated BAC in the state of California can face DUI charges, even if they are not involved in a drunk driving accident. Merely operating a vehicle with an elevated BAC – or engaging in drunk driving – is a criminal act.
Legal Charges and Drunk Driving Accidents
The state of California uses a number of criminal charges to prosecute individuals who are accused of drunk driving. A conviction for drunk driving can lead to:
- Fines of up to $2,000
- Jail time of up to six months
- License suspension of up to one year
However, if someone was hurt by a drunk driver during an accident, these penalties can increase to:
- Fines of up to $5,000
- Prison time of up to four years
- License revocation of up to five years
Defenses for Drunk Driving Accidents in California
You can get legal help if you were accused of causing a drunk driving accident in California. The Simmrin Law Group can build your defense, regardless of your age at the time of the collision. Reach out to our DUI lawyers in Los Angeles now for a FREE consultation.
Call (310) 896-2723 or complete our online contact form to learn more about how our criminal defense lawyers in Los Angeles can help you.