Drunk-Driving Fatality Rate Going Up in Arizona; Drugged-Driving Problem Also on Increase, 2012 ADOT Report Shows

The number of people killed by drunk drivers in Arizona went down slightly compared to last year -- but only because fewer people overall died on state roadways.

As a percentage of the total fatalities, more drunk drivers were responsible for killing people in 2012 than the year before, according to the Arizona Department of Transportation's Crash Facts annual report released this week.

The rate was already up slightly in 2011 from 2010 following a decrease in 2009, a New Times review of the last five years of reports shows. For injury crashes, the rate of drunk drivers believed responsible rose slightly in 2012.

Alberto Gutier, director of the Governor's Highway Safety office, had no explanation for why more drunk drivers, proportionately, are getting into crashes -- despite the fact that the state has, arguably, the harshest DUI laws in the country.

See also:

Marijuana By Itself Not a Significant Factor in Fatal and Injury Crashes in 2012, DPS Data Shows

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Ray Stern has worked as a newspaper reporter in Arizona for more than two decades. He's won numerous awards for his reporting, including the Arizona Press Club's Don Bolles Award for Investigative Journalism.