DUI Arrests Up This Year In LA County - Los Angeles Local News | FOX 11 LA KTTV

From Anchor Tony McEwing

DUI Arrests Up This Year In LA County

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Are people just not getting the message or what? Every year, especially around Christmas and New Year's, there are what seems to be an infinite number of news stories, public service announcements, press conferences, even scare tactics regarding the dangers of driving while under the influence. And yet the latest stats from law enforcement authorities in Los Angeles County seem to indicate that a lot of people just aren't listening--or at least not enough of them.

The county has what's called the Winter Holiday DUI Mobilization program designed to nail intoxicated drivers. This year the program ran for twenty days from 12:01 Friday, December 13th through midnight Wednesday, January 1st, 2014. During that time, officers representing 100 county law enforcement agencies arrested 2,268 people for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. That's exactly 100 more people than were arrested during a nineteen day holiday campaign last year. Granted, this year the campaign lasted one day longer but 2,268 DUI arrests in less than three weeks is way too many, particularly given how much information is out there on the subject.

Law enforcement officials haven't offered any clues about why the numbers are still so high. Perhaps they are as perplexed as anyone. First and foremost, drinking and driving all too often results in accidents where innocent people are killed or maimed, many of them children. According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), 802 people were killed in DUI accidents in California in 2012. That was up from 774 the year before, an increase of 3.6%. Such occurrences wreak havoc in the lives of hundreds of thousands of families every year in the Golden State alone.

Not drinking and driving is the socially and morally responsible thing to do but it's also financially prudent. A first offense arrest and conviction for DUI in California will cost you an estimated $12,000 in fees and fines, not to mention license suspension for at least a year and escalated insurance rates. Compare that to the relatively low cost of even the most expensive taxi ride home after a night of partying. Let's hope eventually, more people will get the message. Any way you look at it, drinking and driving just isn't smart.

Tony McEwing co-anchors FOX 11 Morning News at 4:30 am and provides news updates for the Emmy award winning Good Day LA, broadcast weekdays from 7:00 - 10:00 am. He also co-anchors the FOX 11 10 am News and the FOX 11 News at Noon.
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