Focus on Summer Travel Safety: Driving under the Influence

June 3, 2013

This is the fifth in a series of five blogs about staying safe during your summer travels and road trips. Read first four posts here: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5.

Drunk driving crashes are an epidemic in Orange County and California - even more so in the summer. According to California Office of Traffic Safety, 10 Orange County cities rank among the worst statewide for rates of injuries and fatalities caused by driving under the influence. Of all the cities in the state with a population of 100,000 to 250,000, the city of Orange ranks number one for drunk driving collisions and fatalities. Newport Beach ranks number one for DUI crashes among cities with a population between 50,000 and 100,000. Santa Ana ranks third and Anaheim is at number 10 for worst cities with populations greater than 250,000.

Tips to Prevent DUI Collisions

Taking into consideration these horrifying statistics, it is important to take several precautions whether you are going on a long summer trip:

• If your plans include a gathering where alcohol is served, please make sure that your group has designated a sober driver to take you home safely. If you have trouble finding a designated driver, take a cab or stay at the location of the event, if possible, until you are sober.
• If you have been drinking, do not drive at all. Your ability to operate a motor vehicle can be compromised even if your blood alcohol content is below the legal limit.
• If you know someone who is about to drive away after drinking, take their keys and help them make arrangements to get to their destination. You could help save your friend's live and potentially, the lives of others on the roadway.
• Alcohol is not the only dangerous impairment. Pharmaceutical drugs - even over- the-counter medications - can impair judgment and gross motor skills.
• If you suspect that another driver is driving under the influence, stay clear of them and promptly call 911 to report the driver to the authorities.
• Be alert and watch out for cars driving with headlights off at night, driving considerably below the speed limit or following too closely.
• If you are hosting a party, make sure your guests are sober.

Protecting Your Rights

If you or a loved one has been injured by a drunk driver this summer, please get in touch with an experienced Orange County personal injury lawyer, who has been successful in financially pursuing drunk drivers on behalf of injured victims and their families. Please understand that you do have legal rights. Drunk drivers can be held criminally and civilly liable for the injuries and damages they cause.