Report: Minn. DWI deaths drop 40%by Conrad Wilson, Minnesota Public Radio
Drunken driving deaths in Minnesota are down 40 percent from 2002, according to a new report.
The Department of Public Safety says 111 people died from drunken driving last year, down from 185 people a decade ago.
The report comes as the state is wrapping up its third and final weekend of a DWI enforcement crackdown. Going into the holiday weekend, the state had arrested 605 drunken drivers. In 2011, the DWI crackdown lead to 1,787 arrests.
"We have more of an issue with impaired driving on the weekend or on holidays," said Lt. Tom Shmitz of the Minnesota State Patrol, "especially the holidays, it seems like."
Shmitz added that people "are visiting friends or visiting relatives, that kind of stuff, they're not at work. They're out looking to maybe have a little bit of fun, and they get a little carried away and don't make proper plans for themselves as far as getting a designated driver."
Law enforcement officials say it's critical to plan for a safe ride home and to report drunken driving by calling 911.