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Statistics on Utah DUI-Related Deaths Misleading, Trooper Says



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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- A new U.S. Department of Transportation report says Utah had the biggest increase in the country last year in alcohol-related traffic deaths.

But Utah Highway Patrol trooper Preston Raban says the statistics are a bit misleading. He says because there are so few DUIs to begin with, any increase makes the percentage jump look large.

Raban says that the number of people who died in alcohol-related accidents in Utah rose from 2005 to 2006 by 18.

In 2005, there were 282 fatalities on Utah's roads and 38 of them were alcohol-related. In 2006, there were 287 accidents, and 56 included alcohol as a factor.

The report by the U.S. Transportation Department's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says alcohol-related fatalities rose 64 percent in Utah between 2005 and 2006, and 30 percent in Iowa.

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Information from: Deseret Morning News

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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