This County is a Drunk Driver’s Worst Nightmare

The impacts of impaired driving are devastating. In 2022, 1,177 people were killed in DUI crashes. Another 22,278 were injured. Recidivism is high. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, around one-third of people arrested on suspicion of DUI are repeat offenders.

One way society can respond is by strengthening the penalties against drunk driving. Placer County has made a name for itself as the California county for DUI justice. In 2023, the county again held the title for most DUI convictions in the state. Drunk drivers are more likely to be convicted of a DUI in Placer than anywhere else in California.

The Placer County District Attorney's Office has a dedicated DUI unit, spearheaded by supervising deputy district attorney Jeffery Moore. 

“Our office and county take DUI’s very seriously,” Moore says. “One selfish decision made in a moment can result in devastating lifelong consequences. First and foremost, it can result in a death. Even then, a defendant’s ‘best case scenario’ will still result in jail time and tens of thousands of dollars in penalties and fees. Simply put, it is just not worth it.” 

Studies are mixed on the effects of stronger criminal penalties for impaired driving. Data suggest recidivism drops when people believe they’re more likely to get caught. That suggests stronger criminal penalties should be combined with increased enforcement, like checkpoints. 

Los Angeles-based law firm Simmrin Law Group recently published rankings of the most dangerous California counties for impaired driving. Mendocino led the way, with 20.18% of all crashes involving a DUI. Calaveras, Plumas, Trinity, Amador, Lake, El Dorado, Nevada, Santa Cruz and Tuolumne rounded out the top 10. Alpine was ranked as the safest county, with just 8% of crashes involving a DUI. San Francisco was runner-up, followed by the counties of Alameda, Los Angeles and Orange.


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Finance

Monday, January 29, 2024 - 11:03

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