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Just in time to wrap up a year full of good news in the fight against Impaired Driving, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has released the 2011 numbers for alcohol-impaired motor vehicle fatalities.

Overall, the U.S. saw yet another year of reductions in traffic deaths due to alcohol, with a drop of 2.5% nationwide. More than half the states–27–saw reductions in the number of fatalities, with Texas, New York, South Carolina, and Tennessee leading the charge.

The most substantial systemic shift in the last decade–a shift that has lead us from years of stagnant DUI statistics to three consecutive years of declines–is the programmatic approach to dealing with the epidemic. No longer are states looking to just employ one-off sanctions (license suspensions, fines, required classes). Instead, lawmakers and jurisdictions are tackling the root causes of repeat drunk driving. Treatment and counseling, coupled with monitoring and sanctions all designed to diminish repeat offenses. DWI Courts, 24/7 Sobriety Programs, and HOPE Probation programs are no longer anomalies. They are part of the everyday terminology in the fight against Impaired Driving, and clearly, they’re Making a Difference.

Sobering Up would like to recognize and thank every single individual who contributed to that effort: law enforcement and courts, special interests and nonprofits, researchers, lawmakers, and government agencies have been working towards a solution by looking at what works, what doesn’t, and staying on the leading edge of opportunity.

We wish all of you a safe and Happy New Year and a 2013 filled with notable newsmakers in the battle against Impaired Driving.

Sobering Up Administrator

Sobering Up Administrator

Sobering Up: A blog about drunk driving, alcohol addiction, and criminal justice, is anything but a corporate blog. Sobering Up is an opportunity for anyone interested or involved in the issues of drunk driving, alcohol-fueled crime, alcohol dependence and addiction, and the justice system to participate in the conversation.

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