According to the government, deaths related to driving under the influence fell in 32 states in 2007, but in half the states, alcohol-related fatalities among motorcyclists increased. There were nearly 13,000 deaths reported in which the driver’s blood-alcohol content was at least the legal limit of 0.08. In comparison to 2006, alcohol deaths overall saw a reduction of nearly 4 percent. In 2006, nearly 13,500 deaths were reported.
However, in the state of Virginia, the total number of DUI-related deaths increased from 298 in 2006 to 332 in 2007, an 11 percent increase.
Among the states, the largest decrease in DUI-related fatalities was in California, which had 117 fewer reported deaths. Texas saw a decrease of 108 deaths and Arizona saw a decrease of 63.
In California, there were more than 1,000 sobriety checkpoints conducted during 2007 and drivers were encouraged to call 911 to report potentially drunk drivers they spotted, according to Christopher Murphy of California’s traffic safety office.
The largest increase among states was in North Carolina, with 66 more deaths reported. South Carolina was the next largest with 44.
Other states that saw increases in alcohol-related deaths were Alabama, Alaska, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and the District of Columbia.