Orange County DUI Statistics


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Orange County DUI Statistics

Orange County DUI Statistics

Orange County DUI Statistics

Orange County DUI Statistics are available and accurate mainly because DUI arrests are fairly well documented.  Police reports go to both the DMV and the prosecutor’s office for filing of charges with the court, and the DMV keeps track of what charges are entered on the person’s record once the case reaches a disposition (trial, settlement, or DUI dismissal).

orange county dui

Orange County DUI Statistics – not the highest for DUI

The overall highest per capita rate for DUI is San Diego, which is not a surprise.  San Diego has a number of colleges and Universities, and is close to the Mexico border – the five miles of the Interstate 5 Freeway coming from Tijuana into the USA is the five mile stretch of roadway with the highest rate of DUI in the entire country.

For Orange County specifically, using the data from the California Office of Traffic Safety reveals the cities that are highest for DUI in California, and in Orange County.

Looking at Orange County DUI statistics, of course larger cities would typically have higher rates of DUI.  Looking at statistics and viewing them per capita controls for population and provides the true Orange County DUI Statistics.

Orange County DUI Statistics – Not the Highest DUI Death Rate

The in conducting the analysis of alcohol-related fatalities based off statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), it was discovered that the following U.S. cities had the highest fatality rates, per capita. (Note: NHTSA statistics deem an accident to be “alcohol-related” if a driver had a blood alcohol concentration of .08% or greater, which is above the legal limit to operate a motor vehicle.)
  1. San Bernardino, CA
  2. Mobile, AL
  3. Riverside, CA
  4. Tulsa, OK
  5. Lubbock, TX
  6. Knoxville, TN
  7. Fresno, CA
  8. Spokane, WA
  9. Sacramento, CA
  10. Little Rock, AR
San Bernardino had the highest alcohol-related fatality rate by far. From 2010-2012, there were 92 fatal auto accidents involving drunk drivers. With a population of more than 210,000, San Bernardino’s DUI fatality rate (collisions per 1,000 residents) came in at 0.4368, nearly six times the national average of 0.0731.
Men still dominate DUI arrests and fatalities. In 2010, males accounted for some 77.6 percent of DUI arrests in California. But according to the California Department of Alcohol and Drug Programs (CDAP), the proportion of females among convicted DUI offenders has risen consistently every year since 1989.

Orange County DUI Statistics show a problem in The OC.

Despite a very active law-enforcement presence and consistent prosecution by the district attorney’s office, Orange County has one of the worst drunk-driving problems in California. According to the California Office of Traffic Safety, 10 Orange County cities rank among the worst in the state for rates of injuries and fatalities caused by DUI. Of all California cities with a population between 100,000 and 250,000, Orange ranks No. 1 for drunken driving fatalities and collisions. Santa Ana and Anaheim rank No. 3 and No. 10, respectively, among cities with more than 250,000 people.
DUIs in Newport Beach make it No. 1 for cities with populations between 50,000 and 100,000. Yet it’s not for lack of enforcement; Newport Beach police arrested more than 650 people for suspected DUI in 2011.
CHP statistics from 2010 show that Orange County ranked second only to Los Angeles County in the state for DUI deaths and injury collisions. During that year, there were more than 1,000 DUI-related injury collisions in Orange County, more than in either San Diego or San Bernardino counties. The arrest rate is quickly growing among young people in college towns. Fullerton DUIs, for example, went from fifth in DUI arrests of drivers younger than 21 in 2009 to first in 2010.
Arrests for driving under the influence dived nearly 26 percent in Orange County from their peak in 2008 through 2013, according to the most recent figures from the state. That’s just a bit better than California overall, which saw DUI arrests fall 25 percent over the same period.
Accidents involving impaired drivers did not plunge as dramatically, however. The number of crashes resulting in death or injury in O.C. fell from a peak of 462 in 2005 to 359 in 2011 to 401 in 2012 – 13 percent in all. In California overall, such crashes fell 24 percent from their peak in 2003.
Fullerton’s lively downtown bar scene helped produce 721 DUI arrests through November 2014, compared with 623 through November of this year, said Fullerton Police Chief Dan Hughes.
Santa Ana had 807 DUI arrests last year, and 704 through the first week of December this year, said Corporal Anthony Bertagna.
In Fountain Valley, there were 201 DUI arrests in 2014 and 135 in 2015, with just days left to go, Llorens said.
In Cypress, arrests fell from 56 in 2014 to 27 through November.
Irvine logged a drop in Irvine DUI arrests from 594 in 2013 to 531 in 2014 to about 410 to date this year.
Costa Mesa saw arrests dive by more than half in 2014.
Westminster’s DUI arrests totaled 255 in 2013, 254 in 2014 and 230 through the first week of December, said Deputy Chief Dan Schoonmaker.
Some cities reported more DUI arrests. Anaheim’s DUI arrests ticked up, from 555 in 2014 to 563 to date in 2015, said Sgt. Daron Wyatt.
Newport Beach, Tustin and Brea had arrested more people through November of this year than they had in all of 2014, officials said.
Newport Beach and Orange had the state’s highest rates of crashes in which at least one driver had been drinking, when compared to other California cities their size. Fullerton and Laguna Hills had the worst rates of crashes that involved underage drinkers.
Total Fatal and Injury
Alcohol Involved
Had Been Drinking Driver < 21
Had Been Drinking Driver 21 – 34
Total Fatal and Injury
Alcohol Involved
Had Been Drinking Driver < 21
Had Been Drinking Driver 21 – 34

Statistics of total overall California DUI Arrests

  • 75 percent of DUI arrestees were male.
  • 43 percent were Latino.
  • 42 percent were white.
  • 53.6 percent were age 30 or younger.
  • 0.5 percent were under 18.
  • 0.4 percent were older than 71.
  • 37 percent of those involved in crashes that killed or injured were drunk; 39 percent were high on drugs.

Source: the California DMV annual report.

For Orange County, last year there were over 97% of DUIs that were misdemeanors.  Less than 3% of DUIs were felony DUI cases.

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