The Beer Institute has hailed a recent slide in drunk-driving fatalities in the US.

Last week, the country's Department of Transportation (DOT) said that the number of overall traffic fatalities reported in 2008 hit their lowest level since 1961. Drunk-driving fatalities - those in crashes involving a driver or motorcycle operator with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or greater - declined by 9.7% in 2008.

The Beer Institute, the Washington D.C.-based trade organisation, said yesterday (7 July) that, while the numbers were heading in the right direction, "there is much more work to be done".

"Brewers and beer importers work closely with lawmakers, law enforcement, community groups, and others to help prevent alcohol abuse," noted Beer Institute president Jeff Becker. "Through this shared commitment and as this new data shows, there has been declines in drunk driving that we must all strive to continue.

"Drunk driving is 100% preventable, and we call upon even more individuals and organisations to join us in this ongoing effort."

The 2008 Traffic Safety Annual Assessment can be found here.