Law enforcement officers urge people to drive with care over holiday weekend

Published 9:15 am Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Albert Lea and Freeborn County law enforcement officers are encouraging motorists to travel safely during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. During 2006-08, 19 motorists were killed during the holiday weekend (Wednesday through Sunday) across the state.

Law enforcement cites seat belt use and impaired driving as major concerns for Thanksgiving travelers. Of the 19 Thanksgiving-period deaths (2006-08), alcohol-related crashes accounted for 10 of the deaths. Of the 19 motorists killed, eight were unbelted. During that same time period, 2,232 motorists were arrested for DWI. The 2008 holiday weekend captured four DWI arrests within Freeborn County.

“Every year Thanksgiving travel turns tragic — resulting in empty chairs around the dinner table,” said Albert Lea Police Lt. J.D. Carlson. “Enforcing seat belt use and arresting DWI offenders are just a few of the things we do to ensure everyone’s safety.”

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Follow the traffic safety recipe to ensure safe Thanksgiving travel:

Buckle up before and after you gobble up.

Plan for enough travel time to avoid the urge to speed — the posted speed is the speed limit.

Pay attention. Thanksgiving is one of the busiest, highest-volume travel periods.

If you plan on drinking, plan for a safe and sober ride home.