According to recent statistics, the number of drunk driving accidents in California has increased despite stepped up law enforcement efforts and many public awareness campaigns. The study determined that in 2000, 987 people died at the hands of drunk drivers on California’s roads. By 2017, the number had increased to 1,120.

Overall, the fatality rate rose about 13.5% in California, making it the fourth largest increase across the country. Perhaps more disturbingly, California was only one of six states to see an increase in fatality rates over the last two decades. Across the country, the fatality rate, on average, decreased 18%.

California is not especially lax when it comes to keeping drunk drivers off the streets. One organization ranked California as a state that is slightly tougher on drunk drivers than average. For its part, the California Highway Patrol reported more than 140 sobriety checkpoints in 2018 alone.

Overall, officers arrested about 66,000 California motorists on suspicion of drunk driving in 2018, which was 4% higher than the number of arrests last year. The California Highway Patrol also indicated that they frequently participate in nationwide campaigns aimed at discouraging drunk driving. These efforts will be given particular attention in the upcoming weeks as college students return to campus.

For whatever reason, though, it seems that many drivers in Modesto and other California communities just aren’t getting the message that drunk driving is a very dangerous behavior. Fortunately, victims of drunk driving accidents, and their families, can seek to hold motorists who use alcohol irresponsibly fully accountable for the injuries they cause through personal injury lawsuits. In some cases, victims may even be able to obtain punitive damages.