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California DUI Death Rate Dips To Lowest On Record

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(CBS)

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SACRAMENTO (CBS/AP) – The number of California deaths blamed on drunken driving fell last year to its lowest level since record-keeping began.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said Tuesday that 791 people died in California in driving-while-intoxicated crashes, down from 950 in 2009.

Drunken driving deaths have decreased every year since 2005.

They previously had risen each year from 1998 to 2005.

The state Office of Traffic Safety says a record number of DUI checkpoints last year helped catch and deter drunken drivers. An increase in federal money let law enforcement agencies conduct more than 2,500 checkpoints last year, up from about 1,700 in 2009.

The office also credited California Highway Patrol, local agency task forces and messages posted by the Department of Transportation asking drivers to report erratic motorists to police.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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