Driving under the influence continues to be a major problem in California. As a DUI accident attorney in Sacramento, I regularly handle cases involving drivers who are impaired due to drugs and alcohol.
A review of some recent DUI statistics reveals some surprising facts that you might not be aware of. In this article, I’m sharing 5 little-known facts about DUIs.
1. Two in three people will be involved in a drunk driving crash in their lifetime
If you haven’t been involved in a drunk driving crash, chances are, you know someone who has. According to recent data released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, it’s estimated that an average of two in three people will be involved in a DUI wreck at least once in their lifetime.
2. Most convicted DUI drivers are repeat offenders
Unfortunately, the majority of DUI drivers have repeatedly driven under the influence of drugs or alcohol before their first arrest — and not just a few times. According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), convicted drunk drivers have driven while under the influence an average of 80 times before their first arrest.
Similarly, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that about a third of all drivers arrested for a DUI are repeat offenders, and 1 out of 8 drunk drivers involved in fatal crashes had a prior DUI within the last three years. Their data also pointed to a study conducted in California, which showed that for every driver convicted of a DUI, 44% were convicted of another DUI within 10 years.
3. Yes, you can get a DUI for marijuana
Although marijuana is now legal in California for recreational purposes, you still need to use it responsibly. Driving while impaired is against the law, even if the substance you’re using is legal.
As a Sacramento DUI accident attorney, I’ve seen many DUI cases involving drivers who were impaired due to THC. When it comes to alcohol-related DUIs, the law states that you’re intoxicated if your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit is 0.08% or higher. This is called the “per se” limit. However, the law does not provide a per se limit for THC, which creates a legal grey area and makes it easier to challenge a DUI charge for marijuana in court.
4. You don’t have to be driving to get charged with a DUI
After a long night of drinking, some drivers assume they can simply “sleep it off” in their car. It’s important to know that you can still be charged with a DUI, even if you’re not actually driving your vehicle. Because of the way DUI laws are written, simply being behind the wheel while impaired may give officers enough evidence to arrest you for driving under the influence.
5. You can be charged with a DUI while operating an ATV
ATVs are popular here in California, but you should know that you must still adhere to laws and regulations when operating off-highway vehicles. While they are mostly driven off-road, the state of California considers ATVs to be motor vehicles under the law. This means you can be charged with a DUI if you operate an ATV while impaired. California’s open container law also applies when riding ATVs.
Speak with a leading DUI accident attorney in Sacramento
If you were recently charged with a DUI, our caring legal team can help. We can guide you through the process, uphold your rights, and work tirelessly to win your case or reduce your charges. Schedule a consultation today to speak with a DUI accident attorney.