Alcohol-related traffic deaths down in 2010

Published 10:36 am Tuesday, September 6, 2011

The year 2010 held the lowest number of alcohol-related deaths on record in Minnesota, with no alcohol-related deaths in Mower County, according to Minnesota Department of Public Safety officials.

Data from the 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.

Although none of the three Mower County traffic fatalities involved alcohol, several people were still victim to injuries of alcohol-related crashes. Of 498 total Mower County crashes in 2010, 20 involved alcohol in some way.

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Jean Ryan coordinates the Department of Public Safety’s efforts to combat impaired driving. She said the decrease is due to better driver decisions, enhanced enforcement and education campaigns.

While she’s happy about the decrease, Ryan said there’s still no excuse for drunk driving.

“Despite progress, it remains a source of frustration that this illegal and preventable driving behavior continues to haunt our highways,” Ryan says. “There’s no excuse for impaired driving. Unfortunately, many Minnesotans continue to find an excuse.”