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DUI Deaths Down 9 Percent in California
Date:7/15/2009

SACRAMENTO, Calif., July 15 /PRNewswire/ -- For the third year in a row, DUI deaths declined in California. The drop was 9.1 percent, from 1,132 in 2007 to 1,029 in 2008, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's Fatality Analysis Reporting System. The 2008 figure marks a total decrease of nearly 21 percent from the most recent high point in 2005.

Alcohol impaired deaths make up the largest category of overall vehicle fatalities. Overall fatalities declined by 14 percent, from 3,995 in 2007 to 3,434 in 2008. Total fatalities are at their lowest since 1975, when the federal government began compiling figures.

"With this third year of declines in DUI deaths, we can truly call it a trend, a trend of life saving importance," said Christopher J. Murphy, Director of the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS). "Law enforcement, state and local agencies, Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) and other safety advocates, and the people of California have come together to address this deadly problem and are now seeing the results. As positive as these figures are, though, we can never let up until we achieve our goal of zero deaths."

"This significant decline in traffic deaths is indeed heartening," said California Highway Patrol Commissioner Joe Farrow. "The decrease in lives pointlessly lost can be traced back to hard, innovative work in education, enforcement, engineering and emergency medical services. Our primary objective remains to continue this trend and have more people make it home safe and alive each day."

Many different tactics have been used recently to attack the drunk driver problem, from increases in youth public awareness programs to hospital and jail based intervention programs to expanding prosecution and probation efforts. Officials point to increases in DUI checkpoints, the Avoid DUI Taskforces prog
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SOURCE Office of Traffic Safety
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