— Fourteen motorists died statewide in traffic accidents over the Christmas and New Year’s holidays this year in Alabama. Meanwhile, a dozen motorists were charged with driving under the influence in Limestone County during the same period.
During the holiday travel period that began at 12:01 a.m. Dec. 22, and ended at midnight Jan. 2, Alabama state troopers investigated 13 fatal crashes resulting in 14 traffic deaths.
Two motorcyclists and one pedestrian were among the dead in wrecks that occurred in Lamar, Mobile, Walker, Pickens, Etowah, Madison, Marshall, Calhoun, Butler, DeKalb, Monroe, Blount and Chambers counties.
There were three fewer traffic deaths this year compared to last, records show.
Although seat belts were available for 11 of the 14 individuals killed, only two of the 11 were wearing seat belts, according to state troopers. Troopers have not yet been announced whether alcohol was a factor in any of the fatal crashes as troopers continue to investigate.
In 2011, during the same 12-day holiday period, troopers investigated 17 traffic fatalities.
In all of 2012, troopers investigated a total 514 traffic deaths, 33 fewer than in 2011 and 121 fewer than in 2008.
As the year progresses, troopers encourage the motoring public to continue to obey all traffic laws and make safety a priority.
During the Christmas and New Year’s holidays, Athens and Limestone County law-enforcement officers arrested 12 motorists on charges of driving under the influence of alcohol or other drugs, according to jail records.
Four of those DUI arrests were made by Athens Police. The rest were made by either the Limestone County Sheriff’s Department or troopers.
Troopers made 16 DUI arrests in Morgan County alone over the holidays, according to Trooper Curtis Summerville.
He did not yet have a breakdown of DUIs for other counties.