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Officials say drunk driving deaths are up

California law enforcement officials say the number of deaths and injuries tied to drunk driving has gone up for five straight years. KPBS Reporter Erik Anderson has details.

California law enforcement officials say the number of deaths and injuries tied to drunk driving has gone up for five straight years. KPBS Reporter Erik Anderson has details.

The number of alcohol related deaths and injuries in California began climbing in 1999. California Highway Patrol Chief Skip Carter says 1,462 people died in drunk driving accidents last year.

That's up from 1,300 deaths in 2001. Carter says more people are driving in California, but he says the increase is still puzzling.

Carter: "Maybe we need to send a stronger message and educate the folks about drinking and driving. Maybe we need to show more tragic incidents out there."

Local and state law enforcement officials will pay special attention to drunk driving during the holiday season. State officials are spending several million dollars to set up sobriety checkpoints and fund anti-drunk driving campaigns.
Erik Anderson KPBS News