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Drunk driving outlook across the nation

Although many educational and penal approaches have been taken to tackle the problem of drunk driving, California residents likely know that DUI continues to be a significant cause of deaths in motor vehicle accidents. A recent survey conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System has noted that many midwestern states and Hawaii tend to have the highest rates of drunk driving per person. California falls at the lower statistical end of the spectrum in this DUI study.

It is important to note that those who indicated that they had driven while intoxicated also noted that they were involved in other risky behaviors. Intoxicated drivers were three times as likely to report failure to use seat belts as those who drove while sober. In 80 percent of drunk driving cases, men were responsible. Those between 21 and 34 years of age were also more likely to be involved in DUI activity.

Because this study involved random phone sampling, drunk driving statistics for a few states could not be determined. A random survey is not a completely accurate reflection of actual statistics due to the potential for some error. However, this may provide an excellent basis for state leaders as they evaluate the success of their DUI interventions or attempt to implement new programs. Options such as sobriety checkpoints, requirement of ignition locks for DUI offenders and stronger enforcement of underage drinking laws may impact the occurrences of serious accidents.

An individual facing DUI charges related to increased monitoring at sobriety checkpoints might wonder if such charges are valid. Because a DUI checkpoint could involve extensive activity for the officials working at the sites, issues such as fatigue might contribute to errors in protocol, which might affect the validity of charges being filed. It may be helpful to have a DUI lawyer evaluate one's case to identify any such errors.

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