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While highway deaths continue to be reduced, the number of deaths caused by drunk drivers continues to be to high. This just isn’t acceptable and needs to be addressed.

According to the Minnesota Department of Public Safety:

• 4,245 alcohol-related crashes occurred in 2009 resulting in 163 deaths and 2,896 injuries.
• 35,794 motorists were arrested for DWI, translating to 98 DWI arrests a day.
• In Minnesota, alcohol-related deaths decreased by 14 percent (190 in 2007, 163 in 2008).
• Nationally, alcohol-related deaths decreased by 19 percent (17,036 in 2007, 13,846 in 2008).

When you look at the 2009 numbers 40% percent of the 403 traffic deaths involved alcohol. The percentage in 2008 was 38%.

The numbers suggest problems that law enforcement and maybe the legislature will have to further address. It may require another look at the joint and several laws. When the recent law was revised, bars were granted reduced liability when they serve a drunk and the drunk causes a tragedy. It’s time that the law change be revisited.

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