DUI statistics paint a fascinating portrait of DUI Law in California. According to centurycouncil.org, in 2011 there were a reported 104,345 DUI arrests made. There were also 774 DUI related driving fatalities and 83 under 21 DUI driving fatalities. What is interesting to note is that 69% of the fatalities were caused by a driver with a high BAC level (.15% or over). The legal limit in California is .08% and many drivers are charged with DUI for having a raised BAC and no other sign of impairment
The encouraging news is that over the past 10 years (2001 to 2011) the rate in alcohol-related driving fatalities has dropped by almost 35% for all fatalities and 50% for under 21 fatalities. This can be seen as proof that DUI laws are making a difference especially when it comes to our youth. DUI laws are set to protect drivers from impaired individuals. Unfortunately, this means innocent people can be mistakenly charged as well. Every year, police in California receive grant money to go after drivers who appear to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol. This leaves many to believe that, perhaps, a decline in DUI arrests means a decline in DUI enforcement. The decrease in fatalities can also be attributed to safer automobiles, better driving and more alert and defensive drivers.
When you look at the number of DUI arrests reported, it may appear to be staggering, but when you consider that in 2010 the population was in California was 37.3 million; the number of arrests is less than 1%. 1% of the populations still a fairly large amount of people and only the drivers with very high BAC levels seem to be the extremely dangerous ones. Still, frivolous DUI arrests do happen and fatal DUI accidents are caused by drivers with low BACs. The BAC limit in California is most likely never going to be raised and, in fact, may even be lowered in the future.