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St. Patrick’s Day weekend leads to more than 495 motorist arrests

Fri, Mar 21st, 2014
Posted in All State of Minnesota

ST. PAUL — Extra DWI patrols for St. Patrick’s Day weekend resulted in the arrest of 495 motorists for DWI, according to preliminary reports from Minnesota law enforcement agencies. As of 9 a.m. Monday, March 17there were 420 arrests, with an additional 75 arrests between 9 a.m. Monday and 6 a.m. Tuesday morning.

Officials with the Department of Public Safety (DPS) Office of Traffic Safety say the arrest count will rise as additional DWI arrest information is submitted to the agency.

“Driving drunk puts the driver and everyone else on the road in danger,” says Sgt. Jacalyn Sticha of the Minnesota State Patrol. “There is no reason to get behind the wheel when you have had too much to drink. Always plan ahead for a sober ride.”

Each year, alcohol-related crashes account for one-third of the state’s total traffic deaths. Preliminary numbers show there were 390 traffic deaths and 25,426 motorists are arrested for DWI statewide in 2013.

To-date in 2014 is off to a deadly start. There have been 58 traffic deaths, four more than this time last year.

Tips to Prevent

Drunk Driving

•Plan for a sober ride – designate a sober driver, use public transportation or a taxi cab.

•Make plans to stay at the location of the celebration.

•Offer to be a designated driver or be available to pick up a loved one anytime, anywhere.

•Buckle up – the best defense against a drunk driver.

•Report drunk driving – call 911 when witnessing impaired driving behavior. Be prepared to provide location, license plate number and observed dangerous behavior.

Minnesota Office of Traffic Safety is an anchoring partner of the state’s Toward Zero Deaths (TZD) traffic safety initiative. A primary vision of the TZD program is to create a safe driving culture in Minnesota in which motorists support a goal of zero road fatalities by practicing and promoting safe and smart driving behavior. TZD focuses on the application of four strategic areas to reduce crashes – education, enforcement, engineering and emergency trauma response.

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