'Saturday night massacre' toll drops in 2012

203 deaths, down from 421 in 2011, 917 in 2000

'Saturday night massacre' toll drops in 2012

Forli, January 25 - There was a sharp drop last year in so-called 'Saturday night massacres', as the media have dubbed alcohol-and-drug related road deaths among Italy's disco-going crowd at weekends, a research group said Monday. 2012 saw 203 deaths, down from 421 in 2011 and 917 when the problem was at its peak in 2000, Osservatorio Il Centauro-Asaps said. Successive governments have cracked down on drink driving and introduced spot testing in discos and near them. After-disco road deaths are still "a major problem" in northern Italy but "growing" in southern Italy, the observatory said. One bright spot in the north was Romagna, the region around Rimini, where there were only five drunk or drugged-up car deaths last year.

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