Drinking and Driving in Fresno

Fresno ranks third in California for the highest number of DUI fatalities out of 100, highlighting significant challenges and risks associated with drinking and driving. [1] Despite stringent laws and extensive awareness campaigns, instances of impaired driving continue to endanger lives and undermine the city’s road safety initiatives.

Fresno, like many urban centers in the U.S., grapples with the repercussions of this reckless behavior, witnessing tragic accidents and fatalities due to alcohol-impaired driving. With an average of over 1,148 DUI arrests per year, Fresno has earned a notorious reputation for a high incidence of drunk driving-related incidents. [2]

Drunk driving in Fresno is a major public safety issue, carrying the potential for severe outcomes. This article highlights the consequences and dangers of driving under the influence, Fresno’s drinking and driving regulations, and additional related information.

Dangers of Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol

Driving under the influence of alcohol poses significant dangers to the driver and others on the road. Following are some of the risks related to drinking and driving:

  • Impaired Judgment and Decision-Making
    Alcohol consumption significantly impairs cognitive abilities, affecting judgment, reasoning, and decision-making. It can lead to reckless driving, such as speeding or ignoring traffic signals.
  • Reduced Coordination and Reflexes
    Alcohol slows down reflexes and reduces coordination, impacting a driver’s ability to maneuver the vehicle properly. It can result in delayed reactions to unexpected situations on the road, increasing the likelihood of accidents.
  • Decreased Concentration and Attention
    Alcohol consumption hampers concentration, making it challenging for drivers to focus on the road, traffic signs, and other vehicles. The lack of attention increases the risk of collisions or failing to notice pedestrians or cyclists.
  • Increased Risk of Accidents
    Driving under the influence significantly increases the risk of accidents. Alcohol-impaired drivers are more prone to make critical errors, leading to collisions that can cause severe injuries or fatalities.
  • Legal Consequences
    Beyond the physical dangers, there are severe legal repercussions for driving under the influence. Arrests, fines, license suspension, and even imprisonment can result from DUI convictions, leading to substantial personal and financial consequences.
  • Endangering Lives
    Driving under the influence endangers the driver, passengers, pedestrians, and other motorists. The decision to drive while impaired puts countless lives at risk and can lead to irrevocable consequences for individuals and families.
Dangers of Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol

Drunk driving also has lasting emotional and psychological impacts on victims and their families. To ensure the safety of everyone on the road, abstain from driving after consuming alcohol and arrange for a designated driver or alternative transportation.

Key Facts About Drunk Driving Accidents

Drunk driving accidents are a serious and prevalent issue, with devastating consequences for victims and their families. Common injuries sustained in such accidents include whiplash, broken bones, traumatic brain injuries, and spinal cord injuries.

Victims of drunk driving collisions have legal options to pursue compensation for their injuries, including filing personal injury lawsuits against the at-fault driver and possibly seeking punitive damages.

In Fresno, DUI convictions come with mandatory sentencing and penalties, such as fines, license suspension, and potential jail time. These penalties can significantly impact a person’s life, affecting their ability to drive, obtain employment, and even find housing.

The costs of a DUI conviction extend beyond just the legal penalties, as individuals may also face increased insurance claims and the financial burden of mandatory drug treatment programs or alcohol education programs. Civil liability for property damage, criminal charges, medical expenses, and lost wages may also be imposed on the impaired driver.

Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) Limits in Fresno

Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) limits in California are set to ensure road safety. Here’s the illegal limits for BAC: [3]

  • 0.08% or higher applies to those over 21 years old.
  • 0.01% or higher applies to those under 21 years old.
  • 0.01% or higher at any age if you are on DUI probation.
  • 0.04% or higher applies if you operate a vehicle mandated with a commercial driver’s license.
  • 0.04% or higher if you are driving a passenger for hire.
Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) Limits in Fresno

Drinking and Driving Laws in Fresno

In California, if you drive, you agree to a breath, blood, or urine test if a police officer suspects you of DUI. Even if you consent to a field sobriety test or breath test, you might still have to take a blood or urine test for drug presence. If you refuse, your driving privilege will be suspended or revoked by the DMV.

If you are convicted of DUI, the DMV will suspend or revoke your driving privileges, and [3]

  • You must complete a DUI program
  • You must file SR 22/SR 1P
  • You must pay any applicable license reissue or restriction fees
  • You should install an ignition interlock device (IID) on your vehicle

Additional penalties include:

  • Up to six months in jail
  • A fine
  • Your vehicle may be impounded by law enforcement
  • Civil lawsuits if you cause severe injuries or death

If you have been injured in a drunk driving accident in Fresno, Goldberg & Loren are dedicated to helping the victims recover their physical, emotional, and financial well-being. Call today for a free consultation. 


[1] Yahoo is part of the Yahoo family of brands. (n.d.). https://news.yahoo.com/fresno-named-third-most-dangerous-170927404.html

[2] Anteola, B. J. (2021, November 13). Fresno is California’s most dangerous city to drive due to drunk drivers, study says. Fresno Bee. https://www.fresnobee.com/news/local/article255695276.html

[3] Section 9: Alcohol and Drugs – California DMV. (2023, February 1). California DMV. https://www.dmv.ca.gov/portal/handbook/california-driver-handbook/alcohol-and-drugs

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