DUIs a '24-Hour-a-Day Problem' in LA

LAPD says the number of collisions blamed on intoxicated drivers have doubled in the first few months of 2023

LAPD patrol car parked at the scene of a fatal collision in a file image.

The LAPD said this week there has been a sharp increase so far this year in the number of traffic fatalities tied to intoxicated drivers.

"In reality, it is a 24-hour-a-day problem," said LAPD Chief Michel Moore, after raising the possibility the driver who collided with a mother and her daughter in the mid-Wilshire area Tuesday morning was intoxicated.

The woman's 6-year-old daughter was critically injured in the crash, which happened as the two were walking toward Hancock Park Elementary School, where the girl is a first grade student, authorities said.

The LAPD said Wednesday the driver was not being arrested and the cause of the crash was still under investigation.

Traffic data showed 10 DUI fatalities were recorded between January 1 and April 15, 2023, compared with 5 during the same period in 2022.

Moore said LA's DUI death increase appears to parallel an overall increase in collisions as people returned to commuting, work, and school -- following years of home-centric living during the Covid-19 pandemic.

"And recently, an increase in DUI-related collisions, particularly in our fatal collisions, is troubling," he said.

The data showed the overall number of pedestrian fatalities so far this year, including cases flagged as DUI-related, was 48, compared with 50 during the same time period in 2022.

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