DUI Arrests in South Carolina Decreased During the Pandemic
In 2020, many activities previously considered harmless took on a reputation as gambling with one’s life. Going to the gym used to be good for your health, and so did socializing, especially for elderly people. During the pandemic, people found themselves stuck at home, lonely and stressed, with nothing to do but pass the time with inexpensive, unhealthy habits. From being drunk as a skunk with nowhere to go to concocting amazing creations out of 99-cent cake mixes (but having to eat them all by yourself, since to share would violate the rules of social distancing), it is hard to imagine that the pandemic made anyone healthier. It did, however, decrease the incidence of drunk driving. DUI arrests were about 14 percent lower in South Carolina in 2020 than they were in 2019. Drunk driving still caused more injuries and deaths than it should have. If you have been seriously injured in an alcohol-related traffic accident, contact a South Carolina car accident lawyer.
DUI Statistics in South Carolina Paint a Grim Picture
South Carolina ranks tenth among states in terms of the number of driving under the influence (DUI) arrests; meanwhile it ranks 23rd in total population. The number of DUI arrests per year in South Carolina is close to that of Michigan, which has twice as many inhabitants as South Carolina, and New York, where the population is four times as big.
That is only the bad news, though. DUI arrests decreased nationwide during the COVID-19 pandemic, and South Carolina was no exception to this trend. The total number of DUI arrests in South Carolina was 19,354 in 2019, compared to 16,615 in 2020, which represents a decrease of about 14 percent. The nationwide decrease was due, in part, to the orders issued by many state governments forbidding in-person dining at restaurants. South Carolina had one of the less severe shutdowns, though. The period of time when the bars were totally closed in South Carolina was only about a month. Another state law passed in order to slow the spread of COVID-19 appears to have been effective in reducing drunk driving. Starting in July 2020, bars were allowed to serve alcohol to patrons on the premises, but they had to stop serving alcohol at 11:00 p.m. The “last call’ rule remains in effect as of March 2021. Bars operating for reduced hours and at reduced capacity meant that there were fewer people on the road after an evening at the bar, and the people who were driving home from the bar had had less time to increase their blood alcohol content. Despite these promising trends, alcohol remains a factor in a disproportionate number of fatality and injury accidents.
Let Us Help You Today
A Columbia car accident lawyer can help you if you were injured in a car accident where the driver at fault was under the influence of alcohol. Contact The Stanley Law Group for help with your case.