Research shows that the state of California ranks number 21 in strictness with intoxicated drivers when compared with the other 49 states in the United States. Thus, California is considered one of the more easygoing states with regard to drunk drivers. However, the state has received high marks for the preventative efforts it takes to curb drunk driving.
California is considered more lenient than many other states in the area of drunk driving, as its mandatory jail time minimums for both first and second DUI offenses are much lower compared with other states. Someone who is arrested on his or her first DUI will face at least four days behind bars in the state. If they are convicted of DUI once again, they will serve 10 days in jail.
The strictest state, Arizona, however, requires first-time offenders to spend 10 days in jail. Then, spending 90 days behind bars is the requirement for a second offense. Throughout the United States overall, the percentage of traffic-related deaths stemming from drunk driving did drop from 48 percent back in 1982 to 29 percent in 1997, with high-profile enforcement campaigns and DUI checkpoints reportedly contributing to this decline.
Being arrested for drunk driving can be both frightening and humiliating. However, just because someone has been taken into custody for DUI does not mean he or she is automatically guilty. At trial, prosecutors must prove his or her charge beyond a reasonable doubt before a conviction can be secured. This standard is in place in an effort to prevent innocent people from being convicted of crimes they did not actually commit.
Source: North Hollywood, CA, Patch, "California Middle Of The Pack On DUI Enforcement, Study Says", Paige Austin, Aug. 13, 2017