Drunken-driving deaths declined slightly across the nation last year, traffic safety officials said Monday in beginning a campaign to crack down on drunken driving during the Labor Day holiday. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported a 2 percent decrease in fatal crashes in 2004 involving at least a driver or a motorcycle rider with an illegal blood-alcohol level of 0.08 percent or higher, reports the Associated Press. Thirty-two states registered declines.
The government said 12,874 motorists died under those circumstances in 2004, compared with 13,096 in 2003. All 50 states had a 0.08 standard with Minnesota’s adoption of the law earlier this year. NHTSA said a record number of 11,500 law enforcement officials would participate in its annual campaign, called “You Drink & Drive. You Lose.” The crackdown will be bolstered by $13.9 million in advertising.