Drunken driving deaths decline

LANSING (AP) — Drunken driving deaths are down slightly in Michigan, while reported drugged-driving deaths are up, according to state police.

Overall, 357 people were killed on Michigan streets and highways last year in crashes linked to drinking or drug use, state police said. That’s up from 351 in 2009.

An annual report released recently said drunken-driving deaths fell from 299 in 2009 to 283 in 2010, while drug-related crash deaths rose from 119 to 153.

One reason for the increase is more testing for drugs, the report said.

Seventy-nine crash deaths involved both alcohol and drugs, it said.

“Law enforcement officers are continually finding drugged drivers behind the wheel during traffic stops,” said state police director Col. Kriste Kibbey Etue. “To help address this growing issue, officers have been receiving advanced training to assist them in identifying and arresting these impaired drivers in an effort to make our roadways safer.”

State police say men are much more likely to get caught driving drunk or high.

They say police arrested 41,883 people for drinking- or drug-related driving offenses in 2010.

The report says 31,021 of those arrested were men, and 10,862 were women.

Drunken or impaired driving convictions totaled 41,887 in 2010, the report said.

“Education remains critical in preventing people from driving under the influence,” said Secretary of State Ruth Johnson.
 

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