SACRAMENTO, California —  Fewer people were injured or killed in traffic accidents in California involving drunk drivers in 2010 compared any of the previous years since 2000 – this despite the fact that the number of arrests for drivers under the influence of alcohol have slightly declined over the past five years, according to a recent report released by the California Department of Motor Vehicles.

The 2012 California DUI Management Information System report showed there were 1,071 reported crash fatalities in 2010 attributed to drunk drivers down from 1,233 deaths reported in 2000.  Additionally, the number of people injured was down to 24,206 compared to 30,971 in 2000. Indeed, the number of people killed in these types of crashes peaked in 2005 and 2006 when nearly 1,600 people died and more than 30,000 were injured in each of those years.

Additionally, police arrested some 195,879 people in 2010 for being under the influence of alcohol while driving in 2010 – fewer than the previous four years, according to the report. The report also indicated that the median age for DUI culprits was 30 years old.

Sadly behind numbers of deaths reported in the media are the real faces of victims of these drunk drivers. The victims and their families are the ones who have to pick up the pieces left behind after a deadly crash. Just one year ago, a local drunk driver Austin Jeffrey Farley killed a Northwood High School freshman. Ashton Sweet, 14, was killed and four others injured when Farley crashed into their vehicle with his pickup truck on Memorial Day weekend at Irvine Boulevard and Culver Drive. The Orange County District Attorney’s Office subsequently charged Farley with murder due to his previous DUI conviction. He is awaiting trial at this time.

More recently two people were killed in San Diego County on June 11 as a result of suspected drunk driver Sunny Hall, 30, of El Cajon. Hall crashed her Audi A6 into a 2009 Toyota Yaris killing both Angela Cherene August, 25, and Jimmy Anthony Arevalo, 59. Hill was booked on DUI charges and awaits a trial for the two deaths.

Officials have stepped DUI enforcement up in some areas including in Orange County where police are out in full force during holidays such as the 4th of July, but in San Diego a police unit solely dedicated to DUI enforcement was disbanded, according to the San Diego Union Tribune.

Although the report suggests a decline in drunk driving fatalities Attorney West Thomas, founder of the Thomas Law Firm said drunk driving accidents are some of the most common and upsetting cases his firm handles.

“It’s heartbreaking when I hear clients tell me about how a drunk driver has ruined their life,” Thomas said. “Drivers who decide to get behind the wheel after drinking or using drugs never stop to think just how much they could hurt other people.”

Thomas said his firm fights for the rights of victims of these accidents and their family members to help them deal with the emotional trauma these negligent drivers inflict upon them.

For roughly 30 years, the legal experts at Thomas Law Firm have represented hundred of clients who were injured in serious traffic accidents or have lost a loved one as the result of an impaired driver. Our law firm has a proven track record supported by settlements ranging from several thousand dollars to millions.

There is no cost to clients until our experienced team of lawyers and legal professionals have won your case. Finding the best attorney to handle your case against a drunk driver can mean you will get the settlement you need to get your life back on track. Compensation for your injuries, loss of a loved one and pain and suffering can’t take away the trauma of the accident, but it can help rebuild your life.

Call us today at 1-855-ASK-WEST (1-855-275-9378) to speak with our car accident law firm. Thomas Law Firm has offices in California including its headquarters in Irvine. We also have offices outside of Orange County to serve you in Los Angeles, San Bernardino, San Diego, Riverside and in Las Vegas, Nevada.

– Josh Francis