Editorial: Don’t become a drunken driving statistic

Published 6:57 pm Thursday, March 22, 2018

The Minnesota Department of Public Safety’s Office of Traffic Safety announced Monday that troopers, officers and deputies arrested 424 people across the state during a stepped-up enforcement period over the weekend.

This was a 28 percent increase over the 331 arrests for driving while intoxicated last year during the same period, according to the Office of Traffic Safety.

The agency says about 285 people are arrested for drunken driving on an average Minnesota weekend.

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We appreciate the law enforcement officers across the state who participated in this increased enforcement, including our local officers and deputies who handed out coasters reminding people to drive safe at local bars this weekend.

Even if you don’t cause any injury to yourself or others, remember the consequences a driving while intoxicated charge can bring to your life. You can lose your license for up to a  year, have to spend thousands of dollars in costs and experience possible jail time. Some people even have to have an ignition interlock installed to ensure they are driving legally.

One in seven Minnesotans has a DWI conviction on their record.

Plan ahead!

Always plan for a safe ride if you know you are going to be drinking. Designate a sober driver, use a cab or stay at the location of the celebration. Always wear your seat belt, and call 911 if you witness impaired driving behavior.

Don’t become a statistic.