Drunken Driving Fatality Rates On the Rise in Arkansas

AUGUST 26, 2005 - Posted at 7:49 a.m. CDT

LITTLE ROCK, AR - Federal officials say the number of deaths in traffic accidents involving alcohol rose 15 percent last year in Arkansas.

In 2004, 219 people died in alcohol-related crashes on Arkansas roads.  In 2003, the number was 190.  The numbers are from the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration.

Nationally, the rate declined about 2.4 percent last year, the second consecutive year in which alcohol-related fatalities have declined.

Arkansas is among 18 states that saw their rates jump.

State Police say there are more motorists on Arkansas roads and they are traveling more miles.  Also, police say construction zones could have played a role.

(Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)