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Enforcement Up, Drunk Driving Fatalities Down

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By Sabri Ben-Achour

As law enforcement officials announce a holiday crackdown on drunk driving across the country, they say new data show those campaigns are working, particularly in D.C.

Between 2007 and 2008, deaths in alcohol related crashes fell significantly in D.C., Maryland, and Virginia. If you go by number of deaths per miles traveled, the rate in Virginia fell 2 percent, Maryland's death rate dropped 13 percent and D.C.'s fell 43 percent.

"Yes our numbers are down, which is fortunate, because we're doing aggressive campaigns as far as enforcement," says Sargeant Alexander Pope, with D.C. Police.

Pope says publicity campaigns have helped too. Patrick O' Donnell owns Angles bar in Adams Morgan; he says enforcement has worked, but, "there's also more consciousness of this than there used to be, it used to be kind of a joke and it's just not funny anymore," says O'Donnell.

Improved numbers aside, 1,400 people died in D.C., Maryland and Virginia from alcohol related crashes last year.

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