Review: Northwest Indiana has high fatal drunken crash rate

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MUNSTER, Ind. (AP) — A newspaper review found that three northwestern Indiana counties have a higher percentage of fatal drunken-driving crashes than the rest of the state and the U.S. because of the region's heavy traffic, weather and other factors.

The (Northwest Indiana) Times reports federal road fatality data show that between 2010 and 2014, drunken driving was linked to about 35 percent of the deadly crashes in Lake, Porter and LaPorte counties. The state had about 25 percent of crashes linked to drunken driving, while the national percentage was about 28 percent.

Regional Mental Health Center president Bob Krumwied says alcohol abuse is often overlooked with the focus on the opioid epidemic.

Lake County sheriff's Lt. Steven Trajkovich says he believes heavy traffic and the weather also contribute to the problem.