Prosecutor Mike Feuer warned Monday of the consequences of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, noting that it is now particularly dangerous when local hospital beds fill up with COVID-19 patients.
Feuer said that people seriously injured in accidents resulting from driving while under the influence of coronavirus may have difficulty getting medical help due to the limited number of hospital beds and expertise in the intensive care unit.
“Even with the Safer at Home orders and bars and restaurants closed at night and nightclubs closed, driving under the influence of cases in my office is still far too numerous,” he said. “This year alone, my office has prosecuted more than 5,000 drivers. 4,600 of them were bound to alcohol. “
The prosecutor said his office had filed about 300 criminal complaints against drivers convicted of DUI and not installing a locking device in their car as required. He said data showed the interlocking system reduced drunk or drugged driving.
Fire said his office was part of an effort to pass a state law that from 2019 will require all persons convicted of DUI to install locking systems that will prevent them from starting the vehicle if they have been drinking alcohol.
“My message is very simple: if you drive, do not drive under the influence,” said Feuer.
“You can avert a tragedy that will live with you for the rest of your life if you survive.”
Fire also announced that for the ninth consecutive year, his office has received a grant of nearly $ 1 million from the California Road Safety Office to aid DUI law enforcement.
The grant funding will be used to support the prosecutor’s team of prosecutors who handle cases of drunk and drugged driving to reduce road deaths, Fire said.
This team is also conducting nationwide data collection on crash risks associated with motorists driving recreational cannabis, which has been legal in the state of California since 2018.