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Drunk Driving Audit Shows Increases In Deaths, Injuries

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LANSING (WWJ) - Newly revealed data shows an increase in alcohol and drug related crashes, fatalities and injuries in 2012.

The annual audit, commissioned by Michigan State Police, shows that traffic deaths resulting from alcohol or drug related crashes jumped 7.2 percent, from 319 in 2011 to 342 in 2012, while injuries increased from 6,086 to 6,177.

Drug involvement in traffic fatalities increased 6.3 percent, from 127 deaths in 2011 to 135 in 2012, while alcohol involvement climbed 2.6 percent, from 274 to 281. Seventy-four deaths involved both alcohol and drugs and were counted in each category.

In 2012, officers made 37,182 alcohol and drug related driving arrests. Male drivers were nearly three times as likely as female drivers to be arrested for impaired driving, with 27,606 men arrested compared to 9,576 women.

Also in 2012, 36,322 people were convicted of operating under the influence of alcohol or other impaired driving offenses. Some of these convictions include arrests made in prior years.

Police said it’s important to note however that while alcohol and drug related crashes were up last year, they’re actually on the decline compared to the past five years. Alcohol-involved traffic deaths have decreased by 11.4 percent since 2008, while drug-involved deaths have declined by 3.6 percent.

“Although 2012 saw increases in impaired driving deaths and injuries, the overall trend in Michigan is a positive one,” Col. Kriste Kibbey Etue, MSP director, said in a statement. “Officers in Michigan have been and will continue to make impaired driving enforcement a priority.”

The Drunk Driving Audit is an annual report issued by the MSP Criminal Justice Information Center and is a collaborative effort between MSP and the Michigan Department of State.

For the full report, including county-specific information, visit www.Michigan.gov/drunkdrivingaudit.

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