Lot of holiday parties on your calendar?  That means lots of friends, fun, laughter, eating and....yes, for most, drinking.  The ability and privilege to drive is often taken for granted, until we lose it because of too much fun at a party one night.  Don't create a statistic or BE one, because law enforcement officers are out looking for those wanting to give up their driver's license in exchange for a stupid mistake.

The Duluth Police Department, St. Louis County Sheriff’s Office, Hermantown Police Department, Proctor Police Department, Floodwood Police Department, UMD Police Department and the Minnesota State Patrol will be partnering in Enhanced DWI patrols to take impaired drivers off the road starting today.  The increased drunk driving enforcement will be quite evident during the statewide and nationwide Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over DWI enforcement effort this month.

Many of the following tips are common sense, but in case you need a little reminder here they are:

  •  If you plan on partying, plan on a safe ride in advance.
  •  Designate a sober driver.
  •  Let family/friends know you will be available at any time to offer a safe ride home.
  •  Take a cab or public transportation.
  •  Sleep over at a friend’s house or the location of the celebration.
  •  Leave your vehicle behind — you can retrieve your vehicle the next day.
  •   Buckle up. Motorists should wear lap belts low and snug across the hips; shoulder  straps should never be tucked under an arm or behind the back — not only is this unsafe, it is illegal.
  •  Report impaired driving — call 911 when witnessing impaired driving behavior.  Witnesses must be prepared to provide location, license plate and observed dangerous behavior.

The efforts conducted by Area Law Enforcement are components of the state’s Toward Zero Deaths (TZD) traffic safety program. A primary vision of the TZD program is to create a safe driving culture in Minnesota in which motorists support a goal of zero road fatalities by practicing and promoting safe and smart driving behavior. TZD focuses on the application of four strategic areas to reduce crashes — education, enforcement, engineering and emergency trauma response.

You can still have fun, just think ahead and take the extra precautions to keep everyone safe :)


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