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Minnesota State Patrol increasing DWI patrol on Thanksgiving Eve

Published: Nov. 24, 2021 at 6:25 PM CST
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ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) – It is the most nostalgic day of the year for some. College students and others are back home for Thanksgiving, but before they gather for a meal tomorrow, they are hitting the bars Wednesday night for Thanksgiving Eve.

With more people out socializing and drinking, it is important to remember to not drink and drive.

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that within a five year span, there have been nearly 800 drunk-driving related car accidents that took place the night before Thanksgiving.

“We see a lot more binge drinking, typically it starts tonight just because of the college kids and everyone is home for the long weekend so we already have some educational signs up on billboards. But we also need to just make people aware that we will be out enforcing DWI violations,” Sgt. Troy Christenson with Minnesota State Patrol said.

Safe Ridez is a rideshare company in Rochester that will pick you up and drive you and your car home for you. The owner and operator Peter Bartz expects to see a lot of business Wednesday night, and is happy to help keep Thanksgiving Eve goers safe.

“We like to see everybody get home safe, we’re all gonna be celebrating, it’s a holiday weekend and we all like to be out here for the next holiday,” Bartz said.

Along with drunk driving, law enforcement is speaking out against “buzzed drinking”.

“If you start to feel a little different, you’re gonna drive different if you’re impaired, you’re impaired. It doesn’t matter if it’s on alcohol or on drugs we can determine and detect what type of impairment you’re under,” Sgt. Christenson said.

Sergeant Christenson also stressed the importance of having a sober driver.

“It’s important just to have a designated driver lined up in advance, and they’re just gonna be the designated driver so they other people in the group can have fun and party but then also everyone is gonna get home safely,” Sgt. Christenson said.

To help keep drunk drivers off the roads, Rochester Police Department has dedicated a DWI officer, who started patrolling at night this week.

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