Law enforcement targets drunk drivers on St. Patrick's Day
MORRIS -- Don’t test your luck by driving drunk this St. Patrick’s Day: the Morris Police Department will be adding extra DWI patrols on the roads during the holiday weekend to prevent alcohol-related crashes. Please plan for a safe and sober ride home to avoid the serious consequences that come with a DWI.
St. Patrick’s Day is historically a dangerous drinking and driving party period, and officers are especially concerned as the holiday falls on a Sunday, meaning revelers may make a weekend of imbibing.
During the last five years during the St. Patrick’s Day holiday there were 11 traffic deaths and law enforcement arrested 1,241 motorists for DWI.
“Weekend-long events could make for a potentially dangerous situation on our roads,” says Morris Chief of Police Jim Beauregard. “If you’re planning on drinking, also plan ahead for a sober ride.”
Since 2008, the number of people arrested for DWI on St. Patrick’s Day has gone up every year as the holiday approached the weekend:
- 2008 (Monday) — 165
- 2009 (Tuesday) — 218
- 2010 (Wednesday) — 225
- 2011 (Thursday) — 287
- 2012(Saturday) — 346
In the last five years, 651 people were killed in drunk driving crashes. Drunk driving deaths account for one-third of the state’s total deaths annually. Each year, nearly 30,000 people are arrested for DWI and one in seven Minnesota drivers has a DWI on record.
A DWI offense can result in loss of license for up to a year, thousands in costs and possible jail time.
Repeat DWI offenders, as well as first-time offenders arrested at 0.16 and above alcohol-concentration level, must use ignition interlock in order to regain legal driving privileges, or face at least one year without a driver’s license. Offenders with three or more offenses are required to use interlock for three to six years, or they will never regain driving privileges. Learn more about interlock at MinnesotaIgnitionInterlock.org.