Crime

San Diego Sees Highest DUI Death Rate in Two Decades

Written by Andrew Morris

As nearly everything in American life right now is tumultuous, San Diego is seeing its negative repercussions like never before.

As the Covid-19 pandemic resurges in San Diego, along with record breaking inflation rates and general uncertainty, people are evidently searching for ways to cope with the extreme conditions we find ourselves in; particularly in the irresponsible use of alcohol.

The number of DUI related deaths in San Diego rose from 16 in 2019, to 33 last year, and sits at 39 this year with little less than a week left in 2021.

According to the San Diego County District Attorney Summer Stephan, there is a direct connection between the growing DUIs and coronavirus policies. 

“This year and last year, the battle has become really, really difficult and it is trending in the wrong way,” she said.

She also added in a report that other County DAs had a similar sentiment.

“We noticed this trend beginning last year in 2020 with COVID-19, so we have to assume there is something to the connection there,” she stated. Since the beginning of COVID lockdowns back in March 2020, the country has seen a rise in drug and alcohol abuse along with a number of mental health issues. 

“Over the last 20 years, we’ve averaged 15-20 DUI deaths annually and we kept that number steady, which is of course, as we all understand, one too many,” she included.

Even further, Stephen commented on the dramatic increase in average blood alcohol content, reporting a whopping .18%, which is more than 200% larger than the already sizable .08% legal limit.

In light of the potential for more lockdowns under Gavin Newsom and the new Omicron variant, hope for a turnaround in DUI deaths is bleak.

Photo Cred: SDPD