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Road accidents claim 88 lives in Brazil during long holiday

October 14th, 2009

Polícia Rodoviária FederalA total of 88 people died in motor vehicle accidents on Brazil’s federal roads during the latest long holiday Friday through Monday, Federal Highway Police said Tuesday.

The number of deaths was down 10 percent compared to the previous long holiday in early September. According to the Federal Highway Police, there were 2,217 accidents on federal roads from Friday to Monday, down 4.8 percent from the previous long holiday. A total of 1,389 people were injured, down 6.5 percent.

Southeastern Minas Gerais state ranked first with 352 road accidents, 21 deaths and 271 injuries. The state has the biggest highway network in Brazil.

According to the Federal Highway Police, bad weather conditions contributed to the high number of accidents. In Minas Gerais state,70 percent of the accidents took place on Friday and Saturday, when it was raining.

The Federal Highway Police said some 13,000 breathalyzer tests were carried out during the long holiday, up 20 percent from the previous one. A total of 215 drivers were arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol.

Brazil toughened its stance against drunk drivers last year, and the number of road accidents and road deaths decreased.

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