Editorial: Think before you drink and drive

Published 9:34 am Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Local law enforcement, along with others across the state, began a stepped-up enforcement effort over the weekend aimed at drunken driving.

After the first night of the enhanced patrols, Albert Lea, Freeborn County and Minnesota State Patrol troopers had arrested four people in the area for driving under the influence — including one who had a child in the vehicle and another who had three previous drunken driving arrests.

According to the Minnesota Department of Public Safety, August is the worst month for drunken driving offenses across the state.

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We applaud the law enforcement officers behind this effort, and we hope residents will take extra precaution — not only during this enforcement but into the future.

These efforts and others appear to be paying off as drunken driving arrests have decreased significantly over the last 10 years.

According to the Minnesota Department of Public Safety, police arrested 42,007 people for driving while intoxicated in 2006. That number has steadily decreased over the years so that in 2015, police arrested 25,027 people.

It is good to see these numbers go down, but there’s still a long way to go. We must continue to place emphasis on enforcement but also on personal responsibility.

Thank you to the residents who make wise choices not to endanger members of the community if they have been drinking. Plan ahead for a sober ride or call a taxi, family member of friend if the need.

Don’t take a chance.