August is the Most Deadly Month for DUI in California

August 02, 2004 02:01 PM US Eastern Timezone

LOS ANGELES–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Aug. 2, 2004–More people are killed and
injured in alcohol-related collisions in California during August than in
any other month, according to an analysis by the Automobile Club of
Southern California.

The analysis looks at a five-year period from 1999-2003. During that
time, 618 persons were killed and 13,853 were injured statewide in
alcohol-related collisions in August, for a total of 14,471. July was
number two with 624 deaths and 13,732 injuries, for a total of 14,356.
February had the lowest number of deaths and injuries with 456 deaths and
11,293 injuries.

"Summer vacations and recreational activities often include alcohol
consumption," said Steven Bloch, senior research associate for the
Automobile Club of Southern California. "Everyone needs to be aware that
even one drink can negatively impact judgment. Too many people wrongly
feel that they are fine to drive when, in fact, their judgment, reaction
time and perspective are clouded by alcohol."

The Auto Club analysis also indicates that a motorist convicted of a
first-time DUI offense in California currently faces a total cost of
$12,116. The cost includes minimum fines, $468; penalties, $780; vehicle
towing and impound, $187; alcohol education class, $500; increase in auto
insurance, $7,300; victim restitution fund, $100; DMV license re-issue
fee, $125; booking, fingerprinting and photo fee, $156, and attorney and
legal fees, $2,500.

Bloch stressed that despite stricter laws and enforcement, as well as
increased education, the number of alcohol-related deaths and injuries is
on the rise. "Each of the past five years has seen a rise in the number
of people killed," Bloch said. "This follows 10 straight years of
declines."

Bloch also noted that the number of persons injured in alcohol-related
crashes decreased 2 percent in 2003 after rising for the previous three
years.

The Auto Club has produced an information pamphlet entitled "You
Drink. You Drive. You Lose." It is available at all 68 Auto Club offices
in Southern California.

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