At least eight people have died in traffic accidents on Iowa’s roads this week, while the total number of fatal crashes this year is up from a year ago. Iowa State Patrol safety education officer Mark Domino says alcohol-related traffic deaths are also rising and troopers are doing their best to find and remove drunk drivers from the state’s roads.
The patrol plans an all-out blitz on Saturdays in June, which worked last year in bringing down the fatality numbers, but he says it still comes down to people realizing that drinking and driving will kill you. Domino says dropping the legal blood-alcohol content limit to .08 has helped, but he figures there’s been a laid-back attitude with drinking and driving due to the summer-like weather.
He says law enforcement hit the OWI laws hard in the last two decades, but he thinks people have had a lapse due to the good weather and they just need to remember to use a designated driver or simply stay put. Domino says if you plan to go out and party, make sure you have a designated driver set up ahead of time.
he says make sure you designate the person who is going to be the “designated driver” before you leave for the party, that way someone doesn’t think they can get away with having a drink or two before becoming the person that’s behind the wheel. The total number of fatalities at the start of this week was 129.
That’s 20 deaths higher than a year ago and 29 more than in 2010. A few months back, Iowa recorded one of its warmest winters on record. There were 39 fatalities this January, which is 20 more than in January of 2011.
By Bob Fisher, KRIB, Mason City