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Drunk driving deaths declined last year, but drunk driving "remains one of the nationís deadliest crimes," according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. In 2005 (the latest statistics available), 12,945 people died in a crash involving a legally drunk driver, compared with 13,099 in 2004. Alcohol-related fatalies also fell from 16,919 in 2004 to 16,885 in 2005.

"These statistics confirm what every police officer patrolling America's streets already knows: that irresponsible use of alcohol and driving are a tragic and toxic combination that robs people of their potential and families of their loved ones," said Transportation Secretary Mary Peters in a news release. A $7 million advertising campaign, "Drunk Driving. Over the Limit. Under Arrest," continues through New Year's to crack down on drunk driving nationwide.

According to the NHTSA report, the states with lower fatality rates involving at least one driver with an illegal blood-alcohol level were: Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah and Virginia.

States with higher rates were: Arizona, California, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Vermont, Washington state, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

The six states with the same rates were: Alaska, Kansas, Nebraska, Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia.

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December 8, 2008 at 5:14 pm
(1) James Todd says:

Avoidable medical error in hospitals causes six times as many fatalities in the USA annually.

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