According to a recent analysis of alcohol-related traffic accidents in the United States, 4 California cities made the list of the top 10 cities with the highest number of drunk driving fatalities per capita.
NerdWallet recently released an article, The Most Dangerous Cities: DUIs, Deaths and Your Insurance, which included an analysis of drunk driving fatalities in the 150 largest U.S. cities to uncover those with the highest fatality rates per capita. NerdWallet also analyzed insurance premium increases in these cities to determine whether there was a solid correlation between high DUI fatality rates and post-DUI insurance increases.
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.)
- San Bernardino, CA
- Mobile, AL
- Riverside, CA
- Tulsa, OK
- Lubbock, TX
- Knoxville, TN
- Fresno, CA
- Spokane, WA
- Sacramento, CA
- 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 and well over the second-highest fatality rate of Mobile, AL, which was 0.2971.
According to the article, though drivers convicted of DUI may face fines, court fees and other financial penalties, including insurance rate increases, there was no direct correlation between cities with high DUI fatality rates and insurance premium increases after DUI convictions. In California, however, drivers saw the highest insurance premium increases after DUI convictions than in other U.S. cities.
The four California cities with the highest DUI fatality rates had post-DUI insurance premium increases that were significantly higher than in other U.S. cities included in the top 10 cities with the highest DUI fatality rates per capita. According to the article, the following insurance premium increases were seen in California:
- San Bernardino, CA – drivers saw an average annual insurance premium increase of $1,282.43, or 135.06%, after a DUI conviction.
- Riverside, CA – drivers saw an average increase of $1,404.31, or 140.16%.
- Fresno, CA – drivers saw an average increase of $1,224.17, or 137.87%.
- Sacramento, CA – drivers saw an average increase of $1,440.20, or 138.14%.
To compare these insurance increases to other cities, drivers in Mobile, AL experienced an average post-DUI insurance premium increase of 46.98%. Drivers in Tulsa, OK experienced an average increase of 42.34%. The highest increase of other cities included in the top 10 was 55.58% in Spokane, WA.
Insurance Rate Increases After a DUI Conviction
What do the above numbers mean for you as a driver in California? They mean that you are likely to face significant insurance premium increases if you are convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. In addition to court fees, fines and other penalties, you will face the added burden of increased insurance rates. Even if you avoid jail time and are able to have your driver's license reinstated, you will have to deal with the financial consequences of your conviction.
This is one of the many reasons to fight your DUI with an experienced attorney by your side. For skilled legal counsel in Orange County or the surrounding areas in Southern California, call the Law Offices of Virginia L. Landry today.