Happy New Year!
We hope that everyone in San Diego celebrated the New Year safely. In 2014, we urge all Southern California locals to commit to driving safely and legally this upcoming year. You should know that drunk driving kills 28 people per day in the United States according to MADD. Let this year be free from all types of accidents – and let it begin with you and your safe driving choices!
During this time of year, DUI arrests spike thanks in part to holiday parties and New Year’s Eve celebrations. Although many public programs aim to stop drunken driving, irresponsibility on our roadways continues to persist. A new test, though, may break the cycle.
According to a recent article at the Los Angeles Times, Southern California police are cracking down on impaired driving with the use of oral swab testing. Instead of older detection methods, police can quickly assess the state of a suspected drunken driver with this fast-response swabbing system.
“Traditionally, our office has focused on drunken driving cases,” said Los Angeles City officials said. “We’re expanding drug collection and aggressively enforcing all impaired-driving laws.”
Although suspected drunk drivers are required to submit to blood tests, oral swabs may improve the initial response process which could keep our roads safer in the long run.
Oral swabs are also highly sensitive. Cocaine, Xanax, methadone, THC, methamphetamine, amphetamines and other narcotic analgesics are quickly detected in just 8 minutes. The efficiency of the test could better improve police response while keeping streets safer in San Diego and throughout the Southern California area.
In California alone, nearly 193,000 people were arrested on charges related to drunken driving from 2003 to 2011. In that same period, about 2,140 people were killed and 30,900 injured due to car accidents involving drugs or alcohol. It’s never been more important to put an end to driving under the influence.
*POST-HOLIDAY SAFE DRIVING REMINDERS*
It goes without saying that drivers should NEVER get behind the wheel under the influence. To ensure safe and legal driving this year and well beyond the holidays, always be sure to:
DESIGNATE A SAFE AND SOBER DRIVER AHEAD OF TIME. Before heading out for your evening festivities, be sure to designate a driver and stick to the plan. Choose a responsible driver willing to abstain from alcohol and drugs for the entire evening.
CONSIDER A PRE-PAID TAXI RIDE. Going it alone? No worries. Prepay your taxi ride so you’re not left stranded and desperate to get home.
EDUCATE YOUNG-AGED DRIVERS. The rate of drunk driving is highest among 21 to 25 year olds (23.4 percent) according to MADD. It doesn’t hurt to remind young sons, daughters, nieces and nephews that driving under the influence is not only illegal but it is also morally and socially wrong.
Countless injuries and wrongful deaths in San Diego occur every year due to impaired driving. This year, let’s work together to prevent DUI-related car accidents. For more information on injuries caused by drunken driving, please click here.
Here’s to a safe, happy and healthy 2014.