Eating good food, spending time with family, exchanging gifts – holiday celebrations in Minnesota may include any number of traditions. A holiday activity that should never become a tradition is driving home after drinking alcohol.
Choices to drive drunk have contributed to 27 deaths on Minnesota roads from the day before Thanksgiving through Dec. 30 in the last five years (2012-2016 preliminary). To help keep the roads safe during the holidays, law enforcement agencies in Meeker, Kandiyohi and Swift Counties will be participating with law enforcement statewide in an extra DWI enforcement campaign starting Nov. 22 and on weekends through Dec. 30.
Officers, deputies and troopers from more than 300 agencies will be working overtime with funding provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The Minnesota Department of Public Safety Office of Traffic Safety (DPS-OTS) coordinates the extra enforcement and education effort.
Sheriff Dan Hartog of the Kandiyohi County Sheriff’s Office, said, “As the holidays approach, it’s a time of excited anticipation for many Minnesotans. Sadly, for too many other Minnesotans, the holidays are a painful reminder that their loved one is no longer with them. A drunk driver took their life or their loved one decided to drive impaired. Please celebrate wisely over the holidays, speak up to prevent a tragedy and always plan a sober ride.”
Local agencies participating in the statewide campaign are the Atwater Police Department, Benson Police Department, Kandiyohi County Sheriff’s Office, Meeker County Sheriff’s Office, Swift County Sheriff’s Office and the Willmar Police Department.
(JP Cola, KWLM)