Sep 6, 2011 at 7:37 am
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Minnesota officials say the number of alcohol-related deaths in the state last year was the lowest on record.
Data from the Minnesota Department of Public Safety show that 131 motorists died in alcohol-related crashes in Minnesota last year. That's 21 percent lower than the number five years ago.
Jean Ryan coordinates the department's efforts to combat impaired driving. She credits the decrease to better driver decisions, enhanced enforcement and education campaigns.
Ryan says while she's happy about the decrease, it's still frustrating that a completely preventable driving behavior "continues to haunt our highways.'' She says there's no excuse for impaired driving.
An Albert Lea Tribune report says the 131 alcohol-related deaths accounted for one-third of the 411 total traffic deaths.