Nearly one in three highway fatalities in the United States last year stemmed from alcohol consumption, the government said Thursday as it launched a holiday campaign against drunk driving.
In 2011, 9,878 people died in alcohol-related road accidents -- 31 percent of all highway fatalities, the Transportation Department said.
That first figure was down 2.5 percent from the previous year, and the latter marked a drop of 1.9 percent.
American authorities define an alcohol-related accident as one involving a person with a blood-alcohol concentration of 0.8 grams or higher.
Texas, New York and South Carolina saw their alcohol-related fatality rates drop by 30 percent or more last year, while Colorado, Florida and New Jersey saw them rise by the same proportion, the department said.
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