One in Three Highway Deaths in U.S. Due to Alcohol


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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