State stepping up DWI patrols to thwart New Year's drunken driversby Rupa Shenoy, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — Four hundred law enforcement agencies will be out patrolling Thursday night as part of a statewide crackdown on drunk driving.
The Minnesota Department of Public Safety reports an average of 350 people are pulled over on New Year's Eve. That's three times higher than a typical night.
State traffic safety director Cheri Marti says people should plan ahead of time for a safe drive home from a party. That means designated drivers, cabs, public transportation, or simply staying where they are for the night.
"You could have driven many times behind the wheel buzzed and have gotten away with it or not have gotten in a crash but it just takes one time to forever change your life and the life of someone else," Marti said.
Marti says the idea isn't to catch people -- it's to keep them from driving drunk.
"We've got signage, they're wearing reflective material all to really create that public awareness that law enforcement is out there in force," she said. "And we want the public to know that. They're not in stealth mode."
Marti says if people encounter a drunk driver on the road, they should stay clear of them, write down the driver's license plate number, and call 911.