You are currently viewing The Dangers of Drunk Driving on California Roads

The Dangers of Drunk Driving on California Roads

Despite massive campaigns to educate the public on the dangers of drunk driving, incidents of drunk driving are on the rise in California. In 2021, the number of incidents increased by sixteen percent from the previous year. And roughly thirty percent of all traffic fatalities were due to accidents involving alcohol. In the city of Thousand Oaks, 58 of the 465 car accidents that occurred in 2022 were attributed to impaired driver.

What More Can Be Done?

For many drivers, driving drunk is just a matter of convenience. They may not have time or money to spend on a ridesharing service. Or they may believe that they are not impaired enough to create any danger until they finally get into an accident.

Many of the devices that may be used to prevent someone from driving drunk are rarely purchased by ordinary drivers. Instead, ignition locks and breathalyzers may only be installed after the driver has been caught and is thereafter required to install the devices as part of a probation condition.

Adding to the problem, people metabolize alcohol at different rates and may compare themselves to seasoned drinkers with a higher tolerance. The effects of alcohol impairment are subtle and can linger for days afterwards in reducing the acute reactions of fine motor skills. Drivers may believe that they are fine until they need to make split-second judgment calls.

California roads are particularly dangerous because of aggressive drivers. Aggressive driving appears to be a phenomenon created by traffic gridlock and inner-city congestion. California has some of the worst traffic conditions in the nation because its large metropolitan areas were never designed to accommodate so many people as they sprawled and developed.

In fact, twice as many traffic-related fatalities can be attributed to road rage rather than alcohol.

Defensive Driving

In order to safeguard against accidents with a drunk driver, sober drivers can practice defensive driving habits. Many drivers are accustomed to congested traffic conditions and will tailgate drivers or ride parallel instead of keeping safe distances.

By keeping as much distance between your vehicle and any other vehicle on the roads, you greatly reduce your chances of having an accident. It may be safer to briefly speed out of a congested traffic zone than to linger at moderate speeds in close proximity. After all, it is not speed that kills, it is the explosive forces of the impact when you suddenly stop.

It is particularly important to keep your guard up at intersections and when driving at late hours when drunk drivers are more common. If you see any vehicle swerving or engaging in unusual activity, it is best to keep as far away as possible.

The sad reality is that the drunk driver is more likely to survive an accident than anyone else involved. This is often because the alcohol loosens up their muscles and allows them to roll with the punches instead of absorbing the impact in a focused point.


There is no easy solution to prevent drunk driving in California. The best anyone can do is avoid congestion and practice defensive driving habits to keep themselves safe from these dangerous drivers.