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State

State officials urge safe driving during holidays

CHICAGO (AP) — State officials are urging people to drive safely during the holiday season.

Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White says alcohol-related fatalities decreased from 2010 to 2011, the last year data was available nationally. The drop was 4.8 percent statewide and 2.5 percent nationwide.

White's office will conduct seatbelt patrols during the holidays.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says nearly 10,000 people died in alcohol-related crashes nationwide in 2011. Those deaths represented 31 percent of total traffic fatalities. In Illinois, there were 278 alcohol-related fatalities in 2011. That equaled about 30 percent of the 918 total crashes. In 2010, there were 292 alcohol-related fatalities.

State transportation officials say during Christmas weekend 2012, there were 10 crash fatalities in Illinois. Two were alcohol-related.

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