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Increase in drug-related crashes, deaths and injuries

The 2010 Michigan Drunk Driving Audit shows a decline in alcohol-related crashes, fatalities and arrests, but an increase in crashes, deaths and injuries involving drugs.

Overall, deaths resulting from alcohol and/or drug-related crashes increased slightly from 351 in 2009 to 357 in 2010, while injuries decreased from 6,271 to 6,175. However, alcohol-involved traffic deaths decreased from 299 to 283, while drug-involved fatalities went up 29 percent, from 119 in 2009 to 153 in 2010. Part of this increase is due to increased testing to detect drug-impaired driving.

“Law enforcement officers are continually finding drugged drivers behind the wheel during traffic stops,” said Col. Kriste Kibbey Etue, director of the Michigan State Police (MSP). “To help address this growing issue, officers have been receiving advanced training to assist them in identifying and arresting these impaired drivers in an effort to make our roadways safer.”

The Drunk Driving Audit is an annual report issued by the MSP Criminal Justice Information Center and is a collaborative effort between the MSP and the Michigan Department of State.

“Education remains critical in preventing people from driving under the influence,” said Secretary of State Ruth Johnson. “While the drinking and driving data are encouraging, we must continue educating people about the dangers of driving under the influence and especially drugged-driving. By working with law enforcement and other safety advocates, we can make Michigan roads even safer.”

In 2010, 41,883 alcohol and drug-related driving arrests were made. Male drivers were three times as likely as female drivers to be arrested for impaired driving, with 31,021 men arrested compared to 10,862 women. There were 41,887 persons convicted of operating under the influence of liquor or other impaired driving offenses. Some of these convictions include arrests made in prior years.

The 2010 Drunk Driving Audit is available at www.michigan.gov/msp. Click on Publications, Forms & Statistics, then select Statistical Information and then choose Drunk Driving Audit.

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