Utah had the biggest increase of alcohol-related deaths in 2006 and the UHP doesn’t like that. The UHP blames it on misleading statistics. Imagine that, the statistics are misleading.
"But before there is a public outcry, Utah Highway Patrol trooper Preston Raban said Utahns should know the statistics are a bit misleading."
Consider the following:
- Whether alcohol caused the accident or not, if alcohol is smelled, it is reported as "alcohol related fatality."
- If the person who was at fault in the accident was not impaired by alcohol in any way, but the other person smelled of alcohol, it is considered a "alcohol related fatality."
It’s just like the college professors used to say…"there are lies, damn lies, and statistics."
Utah DUI deaths jump, but figure is misleading
By Pat Reavy
Deseret Morning News
Published: Aug. 21, 2007 12:14 a.m. MDT
A report released Monday says Utah had the biggest increase in the United States last year in alcohol-related traffic deaths.
But before there is a public outcry, Utah Highway Patrol trooper Preston Raban said Utahns should know the statistics are a bit misleading.
"This is something we’ve dealt with every year with these reports. Because our numbers are so low, any increase is going to be a significant percentage," he said.
Raban said it is true that the number of people who died in alcohol-related accidents in Utah rose from 2005 to 2006 — by 18.
In 2005, there were 282 fatalities on Utah’s roads, with 38 of them being alcohol-related. In 2006, there were 287 accidents, and 56 included alcohol as a factor.
"We are still the lowest in the nation when it comes to alcohol-related deaths, and Iowa is still second," he said.
The report by the U.S. Transportation Department’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said alcohol-related fatalities rose 64 percent in Utah between 2005 and 2006, and 30 percent in Iowa. But because the actual numbers are so low, Raban said any increase will make the percentage jump look enormous.
The Transportation Department launched an $11 million media campaign Monday to combat the drunken-driving problem.