by Michael Pines, San Diego's Accident & Injury Prevention Expert
San Diego is well-known for sunshine, beaches, and ideal weather. But now, according to a new study, America’s Finest City may have a new moniker now that it tops the nation as the city with the highest occurrences of DUI citations. Drunken driving is a serious offense that can result in San Diego car accidents, many of which can be deadly. It’s never been more important for our city to take note, and most importantly, take action.
The study was conducted by Insurance.com after analyzing the nation’s largest U.S. cities from 2010 to 2011. Just following San Diego’s lead, Los Angeles comes in as the second-highest city with drunken drivers, followed by Indianapolis, Jacksonville, Fla., and San Francisco finishing off the top five offending cities with the most DUI citations in the nation, Fox Business reports.
The data suggests that offending cities may indeed have a larger population of drunken drivers – or, conversely, cities may have a better police task force or a lack of public programs to prevent drunken driving.
This is San Diego’s second year in a row leading the nation in DUI offenses.
Peter Moraga, a spokesperson for the Insurance Information Network of California, explains that California appears most often on the list due to the state’s dependence on driving cars as opposed to public transportation. He explains that California Highway Patrol and sheriff officials are well-tuned to the habits of drunken drivers, and can spot them from a mile away – sometimes literally.
Drunk driving is "on their radar constantly, especially during the holidays," Moraga says.
The dangers of drunken driving are a sober reminder for San Diego. In 2009, about one-third of all car accidents arising from drunk driving resulted in fatalities nationwide according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
DUI arrests were a staggering 1.4 million nationwide, the FBI reports.
There’s no doubt that drunken driving is increasing at an epidemic level in the city of San Diego. This holiday season, consider the following party tips to help reduce the risk of our city’s next DUI car accident.
Serve up responsible holiday parties
As a responsible host or hostess, use these tips when throwing the next holiday bash. You don’t have to take the fun out of holiday celebrations, but a little dash of caution can go a long way in preventing a San Diego DUI car accident injury.
Offer lots of food, and lots of meat and cheese
Keep your guests full and in good holiday spirit with plenty of snacks including meat and cheese. Protein will help keep your guests full, and food will help balance the consumption of adult beverages. Remember, no amount of food will necessarily counteract the effects of alcohol.
Close the bar an hour before the party ends
Put away your alcohol at least an hour before the party is due to end. But don’t leave your guests thirsty, either. Offer ample bottled water, sparkling water, juice, soda, and other virgin cocktails instead of adult beverages.
Don’t be afraid to hide keys if you have to
If you suspect your guest has seriously overindulged, do not hesitate to take away keys and call a taxi. An idea might be to confiscate keys inconspicuously. In other words, don’t make a big deal or an announcement out of removing the possession of keys. You can always chalk up the “lost keys” as a party faux pas the following morning.