Law enforcement officers across Minnesota will be on the lookout for drunk drivers over the holiday period, so motorists beware.
The festive safety campaign runs on weekends through December 27 and according to the state Department of Public Safety, during the Thanksgiving holiday period alone 1,624 drivers have been arrested for driving while impaired since 2011.
In a press release from the Department of Public Safety it was announced that DWI arrests have gone down every year since 2006 when law enforcement officers arrested 41,951 drivers in Minnesota for DWI.
So it seems drivers have got the message that they need to “drive sober or get pulled over,” as that figure had been reduced to 25,719 by 2013 – the lowest in living memory.
But despite these encouraging figures, there are almost 600,000 Minnesota residents with a DWI on their record — that’s one in seven motorists.
And there have also been 279 drunken driving-related traffic deaths in Minnesota since 2011, and 81 people were killed in 2013 alone, so traffic safety officials are keen to emphasize enforcement and education in an effort to reduce fatalities on the state’s roads.
“We’re encouraged by the drop in DWI arrests, but it’s clear there is much more work to be done through education and enforcement,” said Donna Berger, Office of Traffic Safety director, in the news release.
“The responsibility falls on all of us. Speak up if you see a friend or family member who has had too much to drink. If you are a server, don’t be afraid to cut off a customer. Let’s keep the holiday memories special, not tragic.”