Driving under the influence (DUI) remains a severe problem across the United States. Alcohol and drug-impaired driving endangers everyone on the road. Los Angeles County, with its massive population and hundreds of miles of highways and streets, sees its fair share of DUI incidents and arrests each year. Let’s have a closer look at just how widespread this issue is in the LA area.

DUI Arrests


DUI Arrest Statistics for Los Angeles

In 2022, there were 19,712 DUI arrests made by law enforcement agencies across Los Angeles County. That means, on average, around 54 motorists were arrested every single day on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

To put that number in perspective, LA County has the highest number of DUI arrests of any county in California. Nearly one out of every five DUI arrests statewide in 2022 occurred right here in Los Angeles (19.4%). The LA metro area consistently ranks among the regions with the most DUI arrests nationwide year after year.

What is more, those arrest figures do not even account for the many thousands of additional DUI incidents that likely went undetected or unreported by police. Experts estimate only a fraction of impaired drivers are caught and arrested each year.

It is clear drunk and drugged driving remains a huge public safety challenge in Los Angeles.

High-Risk Days and Times for DUIs

Unsurprisingly, DUI arrests spike around major drinking holidays and events. New Year’s Day is typically one of the highest for arrests. Other dates like Memorial Day, 4th of July, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas Eve/Christmas also see elevated numbers.

Friday and Saturday nights between 8 pm and 4 am are prime times to encounter impaired drivers on the roads. These are the hours when bars, clubs, and parties are in full swing. Law enforcement deploys extra DUI patrols during these high-risk periods.

Those arrested for DUI span all ages, ethnicities, and income levels. Around 75% are male, but the percentage of females getting arrested has increased in recent years. The average blood alcohol content (BAC) is typically around 0.15% – nearly double the legal limit of 0.08%.

Geographic DUI Hotspots in LA

Certain areas see larger concentrations of DUI cases compared to others. Not surprisingly, densely populated entertainment and nightlife districts account for many incidents. Places like Hollywood, Downtown LA, West Hollywood, Santa Monica, Venice Beach, and Malibu have relatively high rates.

Major freeway routes like the 101, 110, 405, and 5 see a lot of DUI stops and crashes too. Rural areas, especially highways passing through mountain ranges and deserts, remain hazardous as well.

Of course, DUI arrests occur in virtually every city and neighborhood in LA County to some degree.

The Penalties for DUI in California

Why is drunk or drugged driving considered such a serious offense? For starters, it substantially increases the risks of causing injury or death in a collision. Even relatively low levels of alcohol or drugs impair a driver’s judgment, reflexes, and reaction times.

In California, a first-offense DUI carries penalties like:

  • Up to six months in county jail
  • Fines and penalty assessments totaling $1,800 or more
  • Driver’s license suspension for six to 10 months
  • Requirement to install an ignition interlock device
  • Probation for three to five years
  • Attendance in a three or nine-month alcohol/drug education program

Jail time becomes more likely for elevated BAC readings over 0.15% or if the DUI involves a collision. Subsequent DUI offenses within 10 years mean increased fines, longer jail sentences, multi-year license revocations, and other enhanced penalties.

In short, the costs and consequences make a DUI an experience no one wants on their record. Even so, thousands of drivers still make the dangerous choice to drive impaired each year in LA.

DUI arrests are never a positive statistic for any community to see. They represent a series of bad decisions that unnecessarily put innocent lives at risk. At the same time, aggressive enforcement and stiff penalties remain important deterrents.

According to expert estimates, roughly one out of every three DUI arrests prevents a potential traffic fatality down the road. This means the 19,712 DUI arrests in LA County during 2022 potentially saved over 6,500 lives that year alone. Public safety initiatives like ride-sharing, designated driver campaigns, and DUI checkpoints continue chipping away at this preventable cause of death and injury.

Seek Legal Advice

The bottom line is DUI arrests remain far too common across Los Angeles. Education and personal accountability must improve. However, law enforcement and the judicial system are vital in keeping impaired drivers off the roads.

If you or someone you know has been arrested for DUI, contact our attorneys at Kosnett Law Firm by calling 310-879-5473 today.

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