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Editorial: 495 DWIs are 495 too many DWIs

Published 9:53am Tuesday, March 25, 2014

While it may have been a good time for many, St. Patrick’s Day weekend resulted in 495 DWI arrests in Minnesota. Residents are educated about the dangers of driving drunk and warned that law enforcement adds extra patrol on weekends like St. Patrick’s Day, but there are still a mind-blowing number of drunk drivers on the roads on historically dangerous drinking party days.

It doesn’t take much extra work to plan a sober ride or call a cab. Those who can’t take these safety measures shouldn’t be out drinking.

There may be fewer drunk drivers on roads now than there were 10 or 20 years ago, but the fact that there are still so many people who risk driving drunk is disappointing, ridiculous and scary.

Minnesota’s DWI penalties are harsh and can include thousands of dollars in fines, jail time and mandatory use of an ignition interlock device for those who want to keep their licenses. But the penalty for causing a drunk driving accident can be astronomically worse.

This is nothing people haven’t heard before, but when are people going to learn? What will it take for these facts to stick? It’s not worth driving drunk, and with 495 DWIs in the books that weekend, the message clearly isn’t getting through.