COVID-19 Leads to Decline in DUIs

man using hand sanitizer in car while wearing a face mask

COVID-19 has negatively impacted so many aspects of daily life since outbreaks began in 2020. However, one trend that has been positively changed due to the novel coronavirus is the decline in DUIs across the country, specifically in Pennsylvania. conducted a study of data surrounding the DUI declines as a result of COVID-19 across the country.

Why has COVID-19 impacted DUI rates?

Between shelter in place mandates, remote working, business closures, etc., most people are finding it better to stay home than spend time out. As of February 15, the current guidelines surrounding COVID-19 in Pennsylvania include the following limitations:

  • Telework must continue unless impossible
  • Face coverings are required in businesses
  • Self-certified restaurants may open at 50% capacity for indoor dining
  • On-premises alcohol consumption prohibited unless part of a meal; cocktails-to-go and carryout beverages are allowed
  • Serving alcohol for on-site consumption must end at 11 p.m, and all alcoholic beverages must be removed from patrons by midnight

Because of these rules, going out to drink is limited, and even social gatherings at private homes are restricted, with occupancy restrictions based on a scale.

In addition to the limitations on dining and recreational venues, we must consider that people simply are not out and about. Work, school, social lives–it’s all happening at home. And with travel restrictions still in place in many states, those numbers are further impacted.

Utilizing data surrounding crime decline, travel decline, and COVID-19 severity, the following data was gathered surrounding DUIs in the coronavirus era in Pennsylvania.

  • 1. Since March 2020, Pennsylvania has seen a 35% driving decline.
  • 2. In major cities like Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, driving has been mitigated by stay-at-home orders, resulting in fewer people visiting tourist attractions, and becoming involved in DUI incidents.
  • 3. Major drinking occasions (St. Patrick’s day, summer holidays, etc.) have experienced canceled and postponed events that have decreased DUI/DWIs.

While COVID-19 vaccines are being distributed, we are still experiencing fewer people on the roads, in entertainment and dining facilities, and more people staying at home while coronavirus cases continue to drop.

But that doesn’t mean DUIs are no longer happening. Drunk driving incidents are still being reported, which is not only dangerous for those involved but also the layer of the uncertainty of catching COVID-19 only adds to the anxiety of it all.

The only true way to protect oneself from a DUI catastrophe is to not drink and drive, follow COVID-19 guidelines, and practice safe drinking.

If you do find yourself charged with a DUI in the coronavirus era, know that Mazzoni Valvano Szewczyk & Karam can help.

COVID-19 Leads to DUI Decline: But we must stay vigilant.

Not all DUI cases in Scranton, Kingston, and Carbondale are the same. Wherever you were arrested for drunk driving, our team will meet with you to determine the facts of the case. Our detailed, hands-on approach consistently produces positive results in case after case.

Don’t wait another minute if you were arrested on a DUI charge. Remember, if this is your first offense, there may be ways to prevent you from having a criminal record. Contact our law firm right now for more information. We want to help you.

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