Alcohol impaired drivers cause almost a third of all car accident fatalities in the U.S. each year according to the National Highway Traffic Association. California drivers, passengers, motorcyclists, bicyclists and pedestrians face an especially serious accident risk from motorists engaged in driving under the influence (DUI). Over 200,000 drivers are arrested in California each year for DUI based on data from the California Department of Motor Vehicles.

Alcohol consumption and speed create deadly San Diego car accident risk

If you are the victim of an intoxicated driver, you may suffer devastating injuries. The seriousness of injuries suffered in many DUI accidents are magnified by drivers who ignore the speed limit. Although speeding is dangerous under the best of circumstances, the risk of violating the speed limit increases significantly when a driver’s perception, reflexes, judgment and response time are impaired by alcohol. When a driver speeds, the likelihood of a collision and seriousness of injury both increase exponentially.

Law enforcement agencies often use sobriety checkpoints to reduce drunk driving. Some question the use of this procedure because of the cost and effect on personal liberty. DUI checkpoints are legal provided they adhere to strict procedures and can provide an effective deterrent that protects people by discouraging drunk driving in San Diego.

Analyzing the effectiveness of DUI checkpoints

Opponents of sobriety checkpoints criticize the use of this law enforcement tool based on cost versus return. Based on data from The California Office of Traffic Safety, sobriety checkpoints account for only about two percent of all DUI arrests in California. The U.S. Supreme Court, in Michigan Department of State Police v. Sitz, the decision that ruled sobriety checkpoints legal if they comply with certain procedures, observed that only 1.5 percent of all people that pass through DUI checkpoints are arrested. Many argue that sobriety checkpoints provide a costly and inefficient method of preventing DUI.

This statistical contention may be misleading because the objective of sobriety checkpoints is to reduce drunk driving accidents. Put differently, DUI sobriety checkpoints are designed to discourage intoxicated drivers from getting behind the wheel rather than to carry out DUI arrests.\

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