BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) – Drunken driving, it’s a difficulty that we take very severely right here at TV-17, we name the continuing drawback ‘Kerns Sober Actuality’. The crime is now spiking in Kern County in addition to in 6 different counties this vacation season.
“In 2021, I filed twice as many DUI fatalities circumstances as I did in 2020,” mentioned Kern County District Lawyer Cynthia Zimmer.
7 county district attorneys shared the identical concern throughout a digital press convention Wednesday afternoon. The prosecutors mirrored on 2021 and observed that the variety of prison convictions for driving beneath the affect almost doubled since final yr of their respective counties.
Some blame the pandemic, others lenient state legal guidelines, however all of them agree everybody shares duty in stopping this heinous crime.
Zimmer talked about that Kern County misplaced at the least 26 individuals by the hands of impaired drivers this yr alone.
Throughout Christmas 2020, California Freeway Patrol (CHP) reported 38 deaths because of impaired drivers in Bakersfield and 573 DUI arrests.
Based on an American Dependancy Facilities examine: 2 in 3 Californians plan to remain in a single day with household this Christmas with a view to keep away from falling sufferer to impaired drivers.
Rhonda Campbell, a sufferer’s providers specialist with Moms Towards Drunk Driving (MADD), is aware of the feelings that her shoppers undergo after shedding her 12-year-old sister to a drunk driver 41 years in the past.
“I all the time ensure I take advantage of the phrase crime,” mentioned Campbell. “Typically within the mainstream, DUI is usually not thought-about against the law, however it’s an final crime.”
Against the law that Kern County’s high prosecutor believes is taken too frivolously in California.
“As I stood there with the 2 dad and mom, I reassured them that we’d do all the pieces doable to hunt justice within the demise of their kids,” mentioned Zimmer. [The father] mentioned what distinction does it make; the governor will simply let the killer free anyway.”
The newest DUI-related crime in Bakersfield took the lives of siblings, JJ Malone and Caylee Brown. The lady within the query of the crime had a earlier prison historical past and is due again in courtroom on January 4.
CHP shall be imposing the legislation throughout the holidays, additionally they advise:
- If you’re the designated driver that you just totally decide to sobriety.
- Think about retaining the quantity to a cab firm or downloading a ridesharing app like Uber or Lyft.
- For those who see a buddy is simply too intoxicated to get behind the wheel, take the keys from them.
Advocates, together with MADD and prosecutors, current agreed that imposing and defending others from drunk driving is everybody’s duty.
“I need to guarantee the general public that the Kern County DA’s workplace is constant to aggressively prosecute,” mentioned Zimmer. “I do need to name upon the general public to please, please chorus from driving drunk, beneath the affect of marijuana, and beneath the affect of medicine.”