December is a month of holiday parties with businesses, family and friends. However, if you drink and drive in Minnesota you will probably face more DWI enforcements than ever before. According to the Minnesota Department of Public Safety (DPS) more than one-half million Minnesotans have a DWI on record. Unfortunately, DPS sees an increase for the month of December.
As a result, there will be more patrols during the holiday season with a concentration of the state’s deadliest counties. These counties are Anoka, Blue Earth, Crow Wing, Dakota, Hennepin, Itasca, Ramsey, Rice, St. Louis, Sherburne, Stearns, Washington and Wright.
In the last three Decembers – 2005 -2007 – 41 motorists were killed in alcohol related crashes and another 10,553 were arrested for DWI. During this entire three-year period, alcohol-related crashes accounted for 553 traffic deaths and 1,253 serious injuries. 117,764 motorists were arrested for DWI. There were 290 NightCAP enforcement efforts in 2008 resulting in more than 3,000 DWI arrests — one arrest per 17 traffic stops.
During this time officers will include seat belt enforcement. Each year, 70 percent of the impaired drivers and their passengers killed in alcohol-related crashes were not buckled up.
So enjoy your holiday parties but always have a designated driver so you can be here for 2009.