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      Drunk driving audit shows jump in injuries and deaths

      The 2012 Michigan Drunk Driving Audit shows increases in alcohol and drug related crashes, fatalities and injuries. However, a five-year picture shows an overall decline, with alcohol involvement decreasing more rapidly than drug involvement.

      Traffic deaths resulting from alcohol and/or drug related crashes jumped 7.2 percen t. And d rug involvement in traffic fatalities increased 6.3 percent, while alcohol involvement climbed 2.6 percent.

      The increases come after dramatic drops in all categories in 2011.

      According to the yearly reports, deaths involving alcohol and/or drugs have fallen by 9.8 percent over the past five years. Alcohol-involved traffic deaths have decreased by 11.4 percent since 2008, while drug-involved deaths have declined by 3.6 percent.

      "Although 2012 saw increases in impaired driving deaths and injuries, the overall trend in Michigan is a positive one," said Col. Kriste Kibbey Etue, director of the Michigan State Police (MSP). "Officers in Michigan have been and will continue to make impaired driving enforcement a priority."

      The Drunk Driving Audit is an annual report issued by the MSP Criminal Justice Information Center and is a collaborative effort between MSP and the Michigan Department of State.

      In some northern Michigan communities, the numbers have gone down dramatically.

      "Currently we are at a 17% decrease for the five county area that the MSP Gaylord Post covers for drunk driving fatalities, and a 23% in alcohol and drug related injuries," MSP Gaylord Post Lt. Derrick Carroll said.

      The Gaylord Post covers Antrim, Emmet, Charlevoix, Cheboygan and Otsego counties.

      You can see county-specific information on the full report: 2012 Drunk Driving Audit .