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Survey Finds DUI Fatalities Down In California

SACRAMENTO (KCBS) – The California Department of Motor Vehicles has released its latest drunk driving survey, with the state seeing a huge drop in alcohol-involved crash fatalities in 2010.

"Alcohol and drug-involved crash fatalities decreased by a little more than 15 percent in 2010, which is the latest year that we have available," said DMV spokesperson Mike Marando.

The study, which looked at the years 2000-2010, also found a significant rise in DUI-related arrests since 2006. "We had close to 196,000 individuals that were arrested for DUI."

Marando said he believes the high number of arrests and drop in DUI-related fatalities are both a result of a stepped-up enforcement campaign.

KCBS' Mark Seelig Reports:

He said one of the more interesting statistics is the spike in drug-related driving deaths.

"Between 2000 and 2010, drug-involved fatal accidents rose approximately 63 percent," said Marando.

He said that as always, the bottom line is that drinking and driving is avoidable, but those who take the chance are risking a lot.

"The average DUI is going to cost anywhere between $8,000-15,000 in terms of increased insurance cost over a period of 10 years not to mention the actual cost of the crash itself," Marando said.

That number goes higher when you consider medical bills.

The median age of a DUI arrestee in 2010 was 30 years with over 70 percent of those resulting in convictions.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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