Drinking and driving killed 80 people on Wyoming’s roads and highways last year, up from 66 in 2005, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Wyoming was among 22 states with a rising number of alcohol-related road deaths last year, even as the nationwide number decreased slightly, from 13,582 to 13,470.
Still, Wyoming Department of Transportation spokesman Dave Kingham said Wyoming’s long-term trend has been downward.
“Our goal every year is to have those numbers going down, but we don’t necessarily look at any one-year change as a good picture of the general trend,” he said.
“From year to year it bounces up and sometimes it bounces down,” Kingham added. “But the general trend has been downward slowly and gradually. It is not going down as fast as certainly we would like it to.”
He mentioned one measure of improvement: Last year, 34.4 percent of deaths on Wyoming’s roads were linked to alcohol, down from 37.6 percent in 2001.
Arizona, Kansas and Texas had the largest numerical increases in drunken driving deaths last year, while Utah, Kansas and Iowa had the largest percentage increases compared to 2005.
Florida, Missouri and Pennsylvania had the greatest numerical decreases in drunken driving deaths last year, while the District of Columbia, Alaska and Delaware had the largest percentage decreases compared to 2005.
Federal transportation officials announced the new figures as they unveiled a $11 million nationwide advertising campaign for Labor Day weekend. The campaign carries the slogan, “Drunk Driving. Over the Limit. Under Arrest.”
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