The State Of Connecticut Targets Drunk Drivers

The rate of drunk-driving deaths reduced in Connecticut in the year 2014, but the state is still in the list of states where the death rate is high due to DUI.

Connecticut is on the 5th number in the list of states with a high percentage of fatalities involving DUI drivers. The states with the highest rate are Massachusetts, North Dakota, and Texas. Delaware is on the 4th number and Vermont is on the last number in the list.

New data released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows that the crashes that happened due to DUI drivers with a BAC of 0.08% or more accounted at 97 out of 248. NHTSA’s statistics that were released in the previous years show that the death rate declined since 2013. A lower rate is expected this year for which the state leaders are making efforts and launched media campaigns. They are also getting help from enforcement practices to help reduce the rate.

To cope with the DUI crashes and fatalities, the state has several strategies, said Gene Interlandi, the Connecticut Department of Transportation Planner. DUI enforcement grants are provided to police departments working in the state which are used to fund roving patrols and DUI checkpoints. In the previous year, installation of Ignition Interlock Device (IID) was made mandatory for DUI offenders in Connecticut to avoid repeat offenses.

When an IID is installed, the driver has to give a breath sample into the device after which it allows the engine of the car to start. Ignition interlock policies are one of the best measures states can take to cope with DUI drivers and to reduce the number of deaths, said Kara Macek, director of communications for the Governors Highway Safety Association. He added, “The GHSA strongly supports aggressive ignition interlock policies, which have been shown to be a good deterrent for repeat offenders. The cornerstone of drunk driving and other behavioral issues is enforcement — strong laws, coupled with public education and outreach.”

NHTSA data didn’t show an overall downward trend despite the reduction in the DUI deaths and accidents. The rate is fluctuating since the past few years. That’s because Connecticut is not a big state due to which a few incidents can show the rate fluctuating, said Joseph Cristalli, transportation principal safety program coordinator at the Connecticut DOT Office of Highway Safety.

The state is making efforts to reduce the number of DUI accidents and deaths. The cops are concerned with the better documentation of alcohol-impaired driving. It is said that BACs often go unmeasured when the accidents involve deaths and BACs from autopsies are only provided to the police when criminal violations are involved. Many of the BACs are documented but unreported.

The DUI related data released by the NHTSA is collected for every state’s department of transportation and it is submitted using the Fatality Analysis Reporting System. State analysts submit the FARS data to NHTSA, 2 times each year.

News Source: www.YaleDailyNews.com

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