State Patrol warns of increase in DWI incidents for St. Patrick’s Day, local businesses and residents offer safe celebrating practices

State Patrol warns of more DWI cases
State Patrol warns of more DWI cases(Free-to-use)
Published: Mar. 17, 2023 at 10:37 PM CDT
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ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) – The Minnesota State Patrol is predicting an increase in DWI cases for this year’s St. Patrick’s Day celebrations, compared to last year. According to state patrol officials, the holiday falling on a Friday this year is the reason for the forecasted up-tick.

State patrol says that last year, there were 176 total DWI cases across the state for the holiday, which is more than a 100% increase than a typical day in Minnesota. With officials predicting more cases this year, the state patrol plans to increase patrols on roads and side-streets.

Peter Bartz, the owner of “Safe Ridez” a local business that specializes in providing safe rides. According to him, safe practices begin with friends, family, and those around you instilling best protocols.

“It comes from your friends. I like to say if you have to convince your friends you are okay, and when they tell you ‘Hey maybe, we should think about a ride?’” said Bartz.

The rise of technology, such as ridesharing companies like Uber and Lyft, have made getting a sober ride much more accessible.

Becky Waara, a local resident, reflected on how far we have come. “But the older we get; we take it more seriously. I look at my kids, and I think they get it. Things have changed since we were young,” said Waara.

Before getting in his Uber, one Rochester man offered this, “Hey everybody Irish today, have a good time, just do the right thing,” said Robert Burkholder a Rochester resident.