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Utah Sees Rise In Injuries & Deaths From Drunk-Driving Crashes

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows about 28 people in the United States die in drunk-driving crashes each day, which is one person every 52 minutes.

Now while this is the lowest fatality rate since tracking began 40 years ago, the deaths of the 10,142 people who died in drunk driving crashes in 2019 were preventable.

A recent survey asked more than 3,300 Utah drivers and opinions varied on the right approach to drunk driving.

Forty percent said Utah’s current laws need to be ramped up with stricter penalties, while 40% say the laws are just about right and 20% believe they’re too harsh.

This is why it’s critical on the road to zero fatalities — both the number of crashes and injuries from those alcohol-related crashes are up 8% from the first half of the last decade to the second half ending in 2020.

But the number of people killed in the same time frame has gone up 14%, with Utah losing 56 people a year over the last five years.

Utah is heading into the 100 deadliest days on its roads from Memorial Day to Labor Day, and while crash numbers are down well below the five- and 10-year average, we’re on pace to lose 70 people on the roads due to drunk driving this year — which would be the deadliest in a long time.

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