San Diego DUI – related deaths are declining.

In fact, every years since 2006, drunk driving deaths in California declined. However, motorcycle fatalities continued a decade-long rise that mirrors national trends.

Total traffic deaths dropped by 14% in 2008, to 3,434, using figures released last month by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. DUI / Drunk Driving / alcohol-related fatalities consisted of just less than 1/3 of the total, and were down 9.1% — a slightly smaller decline than for the nation as a whole. California drunk driving deaths were down nearly 21% over 3 years.

Suggested reasons for the DUI death drop: hard, innovative work in education, enforcement, engineering and emergency medical services. Many San Diego DUI criminal defense attorneys suggest to folks to not drink in excess. Other San Diego DUI lawyers tell people to carry portable breath test gadgets that are reliable and properly administered prior to driving.

Even other attorneys have tips to avoid a DUI. These are only a few of the available inexpensive and not necessarily reliable or accurate devices on the market. Do your research before choosing one. Before using any of these, make sure you consume no alcohol and do not burp/belch/regurgitate gas for at least 15-20 minutes prior to blowing.

Backtrack Personal Breathalyzer (about $80)

A Backtrack Personal Breathalyzer is a personal breathalyzer that is small enough to fit inside your pocket or purse, which makes it very convenient to bring anywhere. It features a patented technology called BluFire, which basically steadies the airflow when you blow into the device to provide more accurate results. Also, it doesn’t have a mouthpiece to blow into (great for germaphobes!), so you can blow into it from up to a half inch away. It will give you a purported BAC within 3 seconds. (www.Xunga.com)

AlcoMate Prestige AL6000 Breathalyzer (about $130)

An AlcoMate Prestige AL6000 Breathalyzer is a device alot like a typical breathalyzer where you blow into a mouthpiece to get your BAC reading. What makes it different, though, is a patent-pending technology that makes recalibrating this breathalyzer very easy to do. Most breathalyzers must be recalibrated every once in a while, and so you must ship the device somewhere to get calibrated and it ends up taking a lot of time to do all this. The Prestige, on the other hand, features a replaceable pre-calibrated alcohol sensor module that is easy to remove and replace when necessary. (Breathalcolyzer)

Key chain Breathalyzer (about $30)

There are a variety of key chain breathalyzers out there, and this is one of them. These are very convenient, because they are small enough to put on your key chain and are very inexpensive. They won’t be as accurate as potentially some of the more expensive models, but they are still better than nothing. This particular one even has a built-in flashlight and stopwatch so it’s kinda cool anyway.

Emerging technologies that will help to eliminate California drunk driving

There is some technology in the works right now that we’ll probably see in the near future that are built-in to new cars. One of these is a patented sensor that was invented by Dr. Dennis Bellehumeur that would be built-in to a car’s steering wheel and prevent the car from starting if it detects too much alcohol or drugs. This sensor works by detecting the amount of alcohol in your sweat. It then sends a signal to your car’s ignition system essentially telling it to not start.

Nissan is just one of the automakers that is making the prevention of drunk driving one of their initiatives in their future cars. They are working on 3 prototype systems that would help eliminate drunk driving. One of these systems is a sensor placed in the gear-shift lever that would detect too much alcohol and then disable the ignition system. It would then prompt the driver, via the GPS screen, that alcohol was detected and the car can’t be operated.

A second system being tested by Nissan involves a camera being mounted in front of the driver that would monitor the driver’s eye movements. If it senses that the driver is dozing off, the car will automatically tighten the seatbelt a few times to try and jolt the driver to wake up.

A third prototype system that Nissan is working on is a sensor that monitors the path of the car. If the car is weaving around the road, the sensor will tighten the driver’s seatbelt a few times and give voice and visual prompts on the GPS screen to try and alert the driver that they are all over the road. There’s no word yet on when these 3 systems could actually hit the road, but Nissan hopes to begin putting this technology into their automobiles very soon.

These are just a few of the many tools that may help to save you from a San Diego California DUI or California DWI arrest in the future. When you consider the cost of a San Diego California DUI defense lawyer alone, it makes spending a $100 on a device like the ones listed above a no-brainer. Nobody knows for sure whether they are at a BAC level of 0.7 or 0.8 when they’ve had a few drinks at the bar, and that tiny difference in BAC can end-up costing you thousands of dollars plus possible loss of license and/or job. If you’re a casual drinker who occasionally goes out and has 3-4 drinks, it is suggested to invest in some kind of BAC tester just to be safe.

Remember: Unless you are under 21, do not blow into any small hand-held California breath test gadget offered by a California police officer – you have the option to refuse this voluntary Preliminary Alcohol Screening (PAS) Test. You only have to blow into one big breath test machine or provide a blood sample for implied consent purposes in California.

California officials expressed concern over the increase in motorcycle fatalities, which rose 8.1% to 560. They have more than doubled since beginning to rise in 1998. The increase has been driven by a roughly similar rise in motorcycle ridership, although California cops also point out the increased deaths are tied to a new generation of bigger, faster, more powerful bikes. Perhaps another reason for the rise in fatalities was more young riders account for those deaths.

If you or your friend or family member requires the services of a premier San Diego DUI attorney, consider San Diego County DUI Law Center.

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