Three cities in California make the top-five list for drunk driving charges. A recent study suggests that drivers are more likely to be arrested for driving under the influence in San Diego and Los Angeles than anywhere else in the nation. San Francisco also made the list, coming in at number five.

The recent study, conducted by says that San Diego tops the list for having the highest number of DUI offenders in the nation, followed by Los Angeles. Many might think the survey results suggest that there are more drunk drivers on California roads. However, some experts say the results are just as likely the result of stricter DUI law enforcement efforts in the cities making the top of the list.

A spokesman for the Insurance Information Network of California suggests that our state is more “car-centric” than other states. In addition to the higher rates of car ownership in California, the spokesman says law enforcement agencies in California are more attuned to drunk driving enforcement than other states.

This blog has reported a number of stories regarding DUI checkpoints in the state. Many other states do not allow DUI checkpoints, either by choice, or their state Supreme Courts have ruled checkpoints unconstitutional under the individual state constitutions. Here in California, checkpoints are fairly commonplace, and funded through state and federal grants.

DUI charges are serious anywhere in the nation. Los Angeles DUI defense attorneys know that California treats drunk driving harshly, with direct exposure to fines, potential jail-time and other potential consequences, including higher insurance rates. Drivers can find the privilege to drive suspended after a DUI arrest.

There is a growing trend in California of requiring ignition interlock devices in DUI cases, as this blog discussed last month. Los Angeles County is involved in a DUI ignition interlock program. The devices can add to the high costs associated with a DUI conviction.

Source: Fox Business, “Top 20 Cities for Drunken Driving Offenders,” Susan Ladika, Dec. 21, 2011