There has been a noticeable change in the number of DUI cases since the outbreak of COVID-19. While some places like Florida, who have been fully open since the pandemic, may have seen an influx of driving under the influence instances; others like California, who have been on full lockdown, have witnessed a decline.
What can affect drunk driving rates during a pandemic?
Increases in DUI Cases
If an area has experienced an influx of driving while under the influence cases, it may be due to:
- Individuals stress levels
- Increase in local patrol officers
- Closure of certain roads (due to building delays, etc)
At the height of the pandemic restaurants and bars were forced to close their doors while alcohol sales increased across the country. Job loss, isolation, and other stressors could all be contributors. Along with the increase of DUIs most of these areas also so increases in domestic violence cases.
Declines in DUI Cases
Alternatively, other parts of the country may have experienced declines in DUI cases during the later part of 2019 and beginnings of 2020. These factors may have been attributed to:
- Social distancing. More people were staying in their own homes instead of driving from restaurants and bars.
- Courthouses scaling back or even suspending their operations.
- Decline in roadside field sobriety tests. With people required to wear masks, officers may have been less likely to notice slurred speech over muffled masks. Also, many did not feel comfortable blowing in breathalyzers without proper sanitization.
If you are facing a DUI charge in the state of Alabama, contact criminal defense lawyer Woody Ketcham in Birmingham. Experienced in DUI, drug offense, and other crimes.