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MN law enforcement increase DWI patrols

Published: Nov. 24, 2021 at 4:17 PM CST
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MOORHEAD, M.N. (Valley News Live) - As we get together to celebrate with family and friends, keep in mind, there is a serious and possibly deadly side to the holiday. Law enforcement refers to Thanksgiving as the beginning of a deadly season of drunk driving.

Some people call Thanksgiving Eve ‘Drinksgiving’ or ‘Blackout Wednesday’. Minnesota State Patrol is increasing their DWI patrols starting Nov. 24 through the new year.

“We just want everybody to get from point A to point B safely,” said Sgt. Jesse Grabow of the Minnesota State Patrol.

Grabow said the number of fatal crashes in the state is climbing, with 1 in every 5 deaths on Minnesota roads being drunk driving-related.

“It’s frustrating because it’s preventable,” said Sgt. Grabow.

Over the past 5 years, between the day before Thanksgiving and Dec. 30, Minnesota law enforcement has arrested more than 12,000 people for DWI.

“It jeopardizes the safety of each and every one of us,” explained Grabow.

While Minnesota does not conduct sober checkpoints, Grabow hopes the increased patrols, “Gives law enforcement the opportunity to focus on impaired driving.” Grabow added, “Remove those folks off the road, and get them to jail.”

Across the river in Fargo, police said they do not have data that proves or disproves an increase in DUI’s around Thanksgiving, so extra grant-funded patrols will not be scheduled.

Grabow said while you may have a plan to safely get home, make sure you have a backup plan.

“Life is really more about plan B, whether the initial plan falls through or whatever it may be.. what’s that backup plan,” said Grabow.

Those caught driving drunk in Minnesota could lose their driver’s license for up to a year, face thousands of dollars in costs, and possible jail time.

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