JACKSON The Mississippi Department of Public Safety reports the number of drunk driving fatalities in the state fell dramatically from 2009 to 2010.
The drop was good enough for Mississippi to fall from 7th in the nation for alcohol-related deaths to 20th.
THe National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) assembles the rankings based on 100million vehicle miles traveled. In 2010, Mississippi's NHTSA rating was .51 compared to a .70 rating in 2009. The average national rating was .45 in 2010.
State officials made the announcement yesterday in anticipation of a nationwide anti-drunken driving campaign called Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over Labor Day. The campaign takes place Aug. 21 through Sept. 3. The Mississippi Highway Patrol will put 369 more troopers on state roads at a cost of $136,000.
The new also follows a report issued in July that concluded Mississippi's lax drunk driving and child-safety laws made its roads the nation's deadliest.