The press have been noting that Orange County DUI arrests have been dropping for over a decade, including a huge drop for this past year, in 2015.
Like Los Angeles County, which reported a drop in 2012, and again in 2013, and in 2014, Orange County has seen, each year, a drop in DUI related fatalities and DUI arrests and convictions.
Here is a look at the various agencies in California and their individual changes in DUI arrest statistics in Orange County.
The Orange County Sheriff’s Department – O.C.’s largest law-enforcement agency – logged 1,392 DUI incident reports last year and 1,180 reports in 2015, with only three days left to the year.
Fullerton Police had 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.
The Fountain Valley Police Department reported 201 DUI arrests in 2014 and 135 in 2015, with just days left to go, Llorens said.
Cypress Police Department arrests fell from 56 in 2014 to 27 through November.
The Costa Mesa Police Department saw Costa Mesa DUI arrests drop by more than half in 2014.
Westminster Police’s DUI arrests totaled 255 in 2013, 254 in 2014 and 230 through the first week of December, said Deputy Chief Dan Schoonmaker.
But in some areas, the DUI arrest rate went up. Anaheim’s DUI arrests rose from 555 in 2014 to 563 to date in 2015, said Sgt. Daron Wyatt.
Staffing, and outside grants to run checkpoints, can impact these totals. The state and federal government give grants for DUI checkpoints, under a “use it or lose it” mandate.
Costa Mesa’s DUI arrest declines are largely because it reassigned DUI enforcement officers to full-time patrol duty, they say.
Santa Ana ran 21 checkpoints last year, netting 115 arrests; it ran 16 this year, netting 62 arrests.
Anaheim usually runs 10 checkpoints, which yielded five DUI arrests last year. Its 64 “saturation patrols” – where officers rove the city, specifically looking for inebriated drivers – were far more productive, netting 84 arrests.