California DUI Arrests Declining but Courts Still Require DUI Classes

“California DUI Arrests are Declining,” DMV Tells State Legislators

In May, 2012 the California DMV presented it’s annual report of the DUI MANAGEMENT INFORMATION SYSTEM to the California State Legislature.

This report presents information on DUI arrests, convictions, court sanctions, administrative actions and alcohol-involved crashes from 2009 to 2010. In addition, the report examined repeat arrests by first and second DUI offenders over a period of twenty years. Here are some of the highlights of this report.

*Note: DUI offenders with out of state zip codes were excluded from all studies. However, most out of state DUI offenders were required to attend an online version of the 3 month, 6 month, 9 month and 18 month drinking driver DUI offender programs required by California statute.     

♦ Alcohol-involved crash fatalities decreased by 15.1% in 2010, the biggest decline since a decreasing trend started 4 years ago.

♦ Drug-involved crash fatalities declined slightly, by 2.4% in 2010, but still reflect an increase of 63% in the past decade, from 428 in 2000 to 696 in 2010.

♦ Of the total number of crash fatalities, the percentage of alcohol-involved fatalities decreased from 41.1% in 2009 to 39.1% in 2010. However, the percentage of drug-involved fatalities increased from 23.2% to 25.4% during the same time period.

♦ The number of persons injured in alcohol-involved crashes decreased by 6.6% in 2010, following a decrease of 8.4% in 2009.

♦ DUI arrests decreased by 6.1% in 2010, following a decrease of 2.9% in 2009 and increases of 5.4% in 2008, 3.4% in 2007, and 9.4% in 2006. The DUI arrest rate declined by 6.5% in 2010 following a decline of 2.9% in 2009.

♦ 13.4% of all 2009 DUI arrests were associated with a reported traffic crash, compared to 14.2% in 2008. 5.2% of 2009 DUI arrests were associated with crashes involving injuries or fatalities, relatively unchanged from 5.5% in 2008.

♦ Among 2010 DUI arrestees, Hispanics (43.7%) again constituted the largest racial/ethnic group, as they have each year since 1992 (with the exception of 1999). Hispanics continued to be arrested at a rate substantially higher than their estimated percentage of California’s adult population (33.7% in 2010).

♦ The median (midpoint) age of a DUI arrestee in 2010 was 30 years. Less than 1% of all DUI arrests were juveniles (under age 18).

♦ Among convicted DUI offenders arrested in 2009, 73.0% were first offenders and 27.0% were repeat offenders (one or more prior convictions within the previous 10 years). The proportion of repeat offenders has decreased considerably since 1989, when it stood at 37%.

♦ The median blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of a convicted DUI offender, as reported by law enforcement on Administrative Per Se (APS) forms, was 0.15% in 2009, same as in the last 5 years, yet almost double the California illegal per se BAC limit of 0.08%.

♦ 10.1% of 2009 DUI arrest cases did not show any corresponding conviction on DMV records, which is relatively unchanged from 10.0% in 2008.