Enjoy the drink, but skip the drive: MN Law Enforcement cracking down on DWI’s this holiday season

KBJR 6 News at 6pm
Published: Nov. 24, 2021 at 7:30 PM CST
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MINNESOTA (KBJR) - Starting Wednesday, November 24th, and carrying through the end of the year, Minnesota law enforcement will have extra patrols on roads to deter DWI’s.

Statistically, there’s a huge uptick in DWI’s during the holiday season, with more than 12,000 DWI arrests between the night before Thanksgiving and New Year over the last five years.

This year, Shannon Grabow with Minnesota’s Office of Traffic Safety says it’s important to be vigilant.

The state already has 450 traffic fatalities this year, the most since 2008, with more than a month to go until year’s end.

“The current traffic safety crisis makes it especially critical for Minnesotans to drive smart and never drive impaired under the influence of any substance. Planning a safe ride to prevent impaired driving is the perfect holiday gift,” said Grabow.

Captain Kevin Ott, with the Grand Rapids Police Department, says they’ve already started seeing the increased numbers.

“It’s no different than any other time, but this holiday season, it seems to be an uptick in intoxicated driving,” he said.

Ott says within their department, they’re also seeing an uptick of people driving DWI’s involving narcotics.

“Our arrests for driving under the influence of meth or heroine of a drug is at or about the same as the alcohol DWI’s,” said Ott.

He said all it takes is one phone call to save your own life and the lives of others.

“It only takes a second to completely change your life, and if you’re going to gamble, leave a bar, leave a friend’s house after you’ve been consuming alcohol or ingesting hard narcotics, your life could change in a second,” said Ott.

If you suspect someone is driving under the influence, you can call the authorities and report the vehicle.

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