Despite San Diego County-wide checkpoints, saturation patrols, and education campaigns, a study released by insurance company Quote Wizard revealed San Diego ranks number one in California as having the highest rate of drivers with DUI.
Overall, San Diego is seventh among 25 cities. The top six cities are: Greensboro, Boston, Columbus, Columbia, Boise, and Denver.
Jake Sanchez with the California Highway Patrol said the numbers of DUI are frustrating given how many options people have to get home safely.
“It doesn’t surprise me due to the fact we live in such a great place. We just have a lot of places where people can consume alcohol,” he said.
For Sanchez, it is not just a professional issue, it is a personal one. His father was hit by a DUI driver in 1982 and died 30 years later due to the complications related to the crash.
“It’s not worth it,” said Sanchez.
On Mother’s Day 2017, Jessica Foderingham, who was eight months pregnant, was killed after a DUI driver slammed into the back of her car in Ramona.
In 2000, Melanie Nava-Pulley lost her husband, CHP officer Sean Nava, when he was hit by a DUI driver while investigating a separate crash along the five in Carlsbad.
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Aside from running the risk of injuring or killing someone, Sanchez said the financial cost of getting a DUI is astronomical.
“We catch you and stop you, you are looking at anywhere from ten to $15,000 in fines and penalties,” said Sanchez.
Not only that, but according to Quote Wizard, on average, drivers will see an $830 a year increase on your car insurance.
“A lot of insurance companies will drop you on a DUI,” said Sanchez.
According to Sanchez, it is best to plan, especially considering the holiday season is when DUIs are more common compared to other times during the year.
California cities that also made the list include: Sacramento, Riverside, Los Angeles, and Fresno.
Check out the complete list here.