DUI Arrests Down In Two States
Would it be good news or bad news if the Los Angeles Times reported a large drop in arrests for Los Angeles DUI? The answer might depend on whom you ask.
Washington State’s Kitsap Sun Business Journal recently ran a story about the decrease in Kitsap County’s DUI arrests–1,000 fewer in 2015 than in 2006. The article suggests that one reason for the drop might be more education about the dangers of DUI driving. Accident statistics seem to bear this out; in 2006, Washington State saw 8,202 DUI-related crashes; that number decreased to 5,586 in 2015.
But lack of police manpower, the complexity of the DUI laws, which require extensive police training, and the time-consuming need to obtain blood samples to detect the presence of marijuana also appear to be contributing to the drop in DUI arrest rates. At least one police official said he simply doesn’t have the manpower to keep troopers patrolling the roads like they did previously.
Florida’s Miami-Dade County has seen a similar drop. According to the Miami Herald, in 2015, the county’s police department made just 3,609 DUI arrests last year; that’s 20 percent fewer than the year before. (In 2010, the county arrest tally for DUIs totaled 6,321.) But the City of Miami Beach, located in that county, saw about 100 fewer DUI-related fatalities in 2015 than it did in 2015.
The ride-sharing company Uber claims some of the credit, saying that arrests are down because it offers a safe alternative for people who might otherwise drive while intoxicated. But some police officers dispute that position. They say they can’t spare time required to process accused DUI drivers and to go to court, especially since a new Florida program gives first-time offenders a relatively easy way to get DUI charges reduced to reckless driving.
First time drivers in California don’t get that kind of break. Although California Vehicle Code 23152 and 23153 requires them to go to some type of alcohol education program, the DUI arrest will stay on their driving record for 10 years.
To develop an effective, evidence-based defense to your Los Angeles DUI charges, call Harvard Law School educated attorney Michael Kraut of the Kraut Law Group today for a free consultation.