NHTSA reports record-low level of drunk-driving deaths

beer institute logoPress Release:

(Washington, DC) – Drunk-driving deaths fell to a record-low level in 2011, according to recent data released by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Fatalities in crashes involving drunk drivers declined to a record-low level in 2011, down 2.5 percent since 2010 and down 53 percent since first measured in 1982.

In 2011, the overall number of highway fatalities fell 1.9 percent from the previous year, to the lowest level in more than six decades.

“This new data is encouraging, especially as we approach the holiday season when it is so important that we promote responsible drinking,” said Beer Institute President Joe McClain. “We recognize that even with these record lows, more work remains to be done. Brewers and beer importers are committed to continuing our work with lawmakers, law enforcement, community groups and others to promote legal, responsible drinking as a means to reduce drunk driving.”

While Americans drove fewer miles in 2011 than in 2010, the nearly 2 percent drop in roadway fatalities significantly outpaced the corresponding 1.2 percent decrease in vehicle miles traveled. In addition, updated Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) information released shows 2011 also saw the lowest fatality rate ever recorded, with 1.10 deaths per 100 million vehicle miles traveled in 2011, down from 1.11 deaths per 100 million vehicle miles traveled in 2010.

Since 1982, member companies of the Beer Institute have invested in more than 130 programs and initiatives to support public safety, education and prevention, including those aimed at combating drunk driving and underage drinking.

“While we are pleased to see the numbers illustrate what can be accomplished when we work together to make our roads safer, we approach the coming year with the goal of doing even more to promote responsible drinking,” added McClain.

For more information on the beer industry’s responsibility initiatives, visit http://www.beerinstitute.org/.

To access the NHTSA report, please visit www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov.

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The Beer Institute, established in 1986, is the national trade association for the brewing industry, representing both large and small brewers, as well as importers and industry suppliers. The Institute is committed to the development of sound public policy and to the values of civic duty and personal responsibility: www.beerinstitute.org.

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