Rates of Drunk Driving Recidivism in California

A Look at the Number of Repeat Drunk Driving Offenders

According to the most recent findings by the California Department of Motor Vehicles, there were over 30,000 repeat DUI license suspensions in 2015.  In an effort to deter repeat drunk driving offenses, California now requires all drivers convicted of second or subsequent DUIs to install an ignition interlock device (IID) in order to reinstate their driving privileges.  Additionally, the state expanded its first offender pilot program to allow all first offenders to have their driving privileges reinstated quicker with the installation of an IID.

Analysis shows that DUI arrests have been decreasing in the most recent years with data available.  Of those arrested for drunk driving in 2014, 26.9% were repeat offenders with “one or more prior convictions within the previous 10 years.”  The number of repeat offenders has declined significantly perhaps due to programs aimed at reducing repeat offenders.  Nearly all 50 states have ignition interlock requirements for repeat offenders and for some first offenders.  Additionally, many courts have implanted programs requiring continuous alcohol monitoring and remote breath testing for repeat DUI offenders in an effort to deter future drunk driving.

For over 26 years, the California Department of Motor Vehicles has published its Annual Report of the California DUI Management Information System.  The hope is to provide legislators with accurate information on drunk driving arrests, convictions and recidivism to allow them “to make informed and timely policy decisions.”  With up-to-date information regarding DUI arrests and convictions lawmakers can determine how to effectively reduce the number of people killed each year by drunk drivers.