Alcohol-related traffic death rates increased or held steady in 19 states between 1998 and 2002, the Associated Press reports. Data in a report out today from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration suggest that efforts to curb drunken driving have reached a plateau.
South Carolina recorded the greatest increase in its death rate during the four years, followed by Kansas, South Dakota, Rhode Island, and Wisconsin. The states with the highest numbers of alcohol-related deaths per miles traveled were Montana, South Carolina, South Dakota, Nevada, and Louisiana.
Drunken driving deaths declined markedly during the 1980s and early ’90s. Thirty-one states and the District of Columbia saw their alcohol-related death rates decrease in the recent period. Vermont, Utah, Maine, New York, and Indiana had the lowest overall death rates.