Highest DUI Related Deaths in U.S.

States Ranked in “Fatal Fifteen”

Chicago, IL – A recent report identified the 15 most dangerous states
based on alcohol-related deaths. The report was published by End Needless
Death on Our Roadways (END), a group
of doctors and medical professionals dedicated to using new strategies to
lessen dangerous driving.

They announced the “Fatal Fifteen”-states in which 41% or more of
traffic-related casualties are caused by alcohol-related incidents. The
“Fatal Fifteen” in rank order are Washington D.C., Hawaii, Rhode Island,
Montana, Delaware, Alaska, North Dakota, Washington, Wisconsin, Texas,
Connecticut, South Dakota, Illinois, South Carolina and Arizona.

The report reveals that ten states of the “Fatal Fifteen” have made
the list ten years straight. Dr. Andrea Barthwell, Co-Chairperson of END
and former Deputy Director for Demand Reduction the White House Office of
National Drug Control Policy states, “We urge leaders in these states and
around the country to dedicate themselves to exploring new and innovative
strategies for addressing impaired and other dangerous driving
behaviors.”

The report also stresses the need for alcohol-related accident deaths
to decrease, especially around the time of the holidays. Barthwell
explains, “While the holiday season is a time for excitement, celebration
and family, it is also a time of impaired driving and senseless death and
injury.”

Victims numbering 17,000 were killed in the country last year and
4,300 of those deaths occurred in the “Fatal Fifteen” states.

Stricter drunk driving laws and a more public support has lowered the
number of drunk driving deaths, however in the last few years the death
rate has plateaued, and END finds these rates to be unacceptable.

The report proposes solutions via the medical profession in
particular. Outreach, education programs, and interventions could inform
patients with alcohol problems of the negative consequences of their
alcohol consumption. Further usage of interlock systems, which require
impaired drivers to measure their blood alcohol level, could also
address the problem. END also suggests that states consider implementing
initiatives and strategies that have proven effective in other
states.

View the full “Fatal
Fifteen
” release from END (pdf download).

November 30, 2006

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