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19 Die on Freeways over Memorial Day Weekend

In Orange County, CHP officers arrested 62 suspected drunken drivers between 6 p.m. Friday and 6 a.m. Monday.

Patch file photo.
Patch file photo.

Nineteen people were killed in traffic accidents on freeways statewide over Memorial Day weekend, and three of them died in Los Angeles County, according to the California Highway Patrol.

That's up from 15 drivers who lost their lives on highways throughout the state last year and the two who were killed locally, according to the CHP tally.

In L.A County, 254 people were arrested for suspicion of driving under the influence between Friday and Monday by the CHP, which patrols freeways and streets in unincorporated areas.

That is an increase from the 245 who were taken into custody from the same time last year, the release read.

In Orange County, CHP officers arrested 62 suspected drunken drivers between 6 p.m. Friday and 6 a.m. today, up 11 from last year, according to the CHP. No fatalities were reported by law enforcement officers in Orange County either year.

Statewide, 1,111 alleged drunken drivers were arrested by CHP officers over the holiday weekend, down from 1,133 in 2013.

Meanwhile, the countywide Avoid the 100 anti-DUI task force announced that 499 motorists were arrested on suspicion of DUI from 12:01 a.m. Friday through midnight Sunday, compared to 529 DUI arrests during the same period last year.

The 100 law enforcement agencies participating in the crackdown have been setting up checkpoints and conducting anti-DUI saturation patrols and will collect arrest data throughout the holiday weekend, according to the task force, of which the CHP is a participant.

--City News Service


Jim Gardner May 27, 2014 at 10:07 AM
FYI - I just completed a study of DUI arrests in 2013 and the density of outlets selling alcohol in 10 South OC cities (including Lake Forest). Almost invariably, as the number of outlets goes up (on a per capita basis), the number of DUI arrests goes up. For example, Aliso Viejo has 95 outlets per 100,000 people and 143 DUI arrests (per 100,000). Compare that with Dana Point that has 326 outlets and 537 DUI arrests, Lake Forest has intermediate values - 202 outlets and 209 arrests. The same holds true for the number of outlets and violent crime. Stopping drunken drivers is an important service, but as long as cities keep adding more and more stores that sell alcohol, all the good work by the Police is just sticking a finger in the dyke.
Joel Peshkin May 27, 2014 at 10:15 AM
Jim - Interesting correlation. How do you determine if the stores CAUSE the DUIs or if the presence of lots of stores is CAUSED by either the same alcohol demand that causes the DUIs such as the presence of the beach and PCH ? Do you have data from other beach cities?
Tom Cagley May 27, 2014 at 10:37 AM
Jim: In Texas, you cannot buy alcohol in a store (grocery, convenience, etc) from 1:00 a.m. to noon on Sundays. Do you think we could use similar restrictions on alcohol sales? May not help, but might be a step in right direction.
Laguna Streets May 27, 2014 at 09:28 PM
I just posed a thought-experiment to our local PD, I asked if a town became car-free by providing alternative transportation, would the crime rate go up or down. PD responded my hypothetical was too difficult to answer without extensive analysis. Thanks for the analysis Jim.
Smokey Bear June 02, 2014 at 08:09 PM
People+Alcohol = Drunken Idiots I don't want to know!!

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