Minn. Alcohol Related Deaths Increase by 11 Percent

The number of 2005 traffic deaths in Minnesota that involved alcohol increased 11 percent from the previous year, state public safety officials said.

The Department of Public Safety released its impaired driving facts report Tuesday, saying that alcohol-related traffic accidents cost the state more than $310 million in 2005.

The report said 37,000 motorists were arrested for impaired driving _ 76 percent of them male. In 2005, 197 people died in alcohol-related crashes, 20 more than during the previous year.

Nationally, alcohol-fueled deaths were almost unchanged; there were 16,919 in 2004 and 16,885 in 2005.

Each year from 2001 to 2005, Minnesota averaged 215 alcohol-related traffic deaths and more than 34,000 impaired driving arrests.