DESOTO COUNTY, MS (abc24.com) - Mississippi has taken a huge step forward in fighting drunk driving, especially preventing deadly accidents caused by impaired drivers.
The state's moved from being the seventh worst in the country to the 20th. It's something Mississippi's Highway Patrol has been working on for years.
There's not one thing troopers can point to for the change, instead they say it's been several things have made the difference.
"Going from being the worst to being in the middle, it's a huge step for us," says Trooper First Class Joey Miller.
DUI fatalities are down almost 40 percent in Mississippi. Not only that, the State Highway Patrol says fewer people are driving drunk. Arrests dropped by about 4,000 from 2010 to 2011.
"It's a combination of us being out there working and getting word out to public," Miller says.
The state's upped patrols and checkpoints and started taking part in a national media campaign.
"Commercials for the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign have had a big impact," Miller says. "We try to keep it on the forefront of every body's thought process that you could be next."
Miller says it's all worked. So has working together with local police and sheriff's deputies.
"It's a combination effort of all of us. Every body's working their hardest. One life to lose is too many. The lower we can get that number the better."
Starting next Tuesday there will be almost 400 more troopers on the highways. They're working overtime through Labor Day.