By Miriam Raftery
September 2, 2015 (San Diego's East County) - Deadly drunk driving crashes have spiked this summer, killing 11 people since May -- six in August alone.
District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis says, “This has been a summer of shame when it comes to fatal DUIs.”
She calls the conduct of drivers who caused the crashes “horrific,” adding, “We’ve had drunks driving the wrong way on the highway, individuals consuming alcohol for hours before getting behind the wheel and a young mother driving with her children in the car while using drugs. Tragically, lives have been lost because of these preventable crimes, which should serve as a wakeup call to anyone even thinking about driving under the influence,” the D.A. concludes.
Law enforcement leaders will they will be cracking down on suspected DUI drivers as we head into the Labor Day weekend through added sobriety check points and a ‘no tolerance approach’ to impaired driving.
Sheriff Bill Gore says drunk driving is a preventable crime. He warns, “You will go to jail if our deputies stop you for driving under the influence.”
One year ago, the DA’s Office launched a DUI Homicide Unit to prosecute fatalities and serious injuries. The unit has been so busy they have had to bring in additional prosecutors.
Last year over 12,000 DUI-related cases were prosecuted in San Diego County including 17 fatality cases.
Despite the rise in fatal DUI crashes this summer, there is some good news. Since 2010, misdemeanor DUI prosecutions countywide are down 29 percent—and one reason could be that people who are out drinking are increasingly using ride services like Uber and Lyft.