KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Two years ago, one in every three traffic deaths across the country were caused by a drunk driver. That's a statistic Kansas and Missouri law enforcement hope to curb this month.
Authorities on both sides of the state line are ramping up drunk driving enforcement efforts through the Labor Day weekend based in part on the numbers from the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration.
In 2010, Kansas reported 108 alcohol-related fatalities , while Missouri, with more than double the overall population, recorded 208 alcohol-related fatal crashes in 2010.
“New agency statistics released today show that 70 percent of deaths in drunk driving crashes in 2010 involved drivers with a blood alcohol level that was nearly twice the legal limit,” said NHTSA Administrator David Strickland.
To help combat drunk driving, Missouri recently passed a law requiring ignition interlocks for first-time DUI offenders, joining a similar law already in place in Kansas.
Administrators believe the interlocks are one of the best ways to keep drunk drivers off the road by preventing a car from starting if the driver fails to pass a breathalyzer test.
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