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Crash at a friends, not on the road; Friends don’t let friends drive impaired

Post Date:11/20/2018 10:21 am

The holidays are filled with joy, happiness and time together with family and friends. Too often the joy turns to sorrow when a family is notified of a loved one’s tragic death on Minnesota roads due to someone driving impaired.
To help keep families together this holiday season, law enforcement agencies in Clay County will be participating with law enforcement statewide in an extra DWI enforcement campaign running on weekends starting Nov. 21 through Dec. 29.

The Choice is Yours

The decision to get behind the wheel after drinking is costing too many people their lives. The choice to drive drunk has contributed to 28 deaths on Minnesota roads from the day before Thanksgiving through Dec. 30 in the last five years (2012-2017).

Holiday DWI Arrests (Day before Thanksgiving – Dec. 30) in Minnesota

2013 2,556
2014 2,565
2015 2,381
2016 2,271
2017 2,717
Total 12,490
DWI Arrests Year-Round
Year DWIs
2013 26,014
2014 25,392
2015 25,374
2016 24,059
2017 24,862
Total 125,701

Blackout Wednesday Dangers

Blackout Wednesday (the day before Thanksgiving) is traditionally associated with a night of binge drinking. Many college students are returning home for a night of celebrating with friends and with no work on Thursday, many adults get together after a short work-week.

Blackout Wednesday is one of the most dangerous nights on the road in the state. Last year, 133 drivers were arrested for DWI during a 12 hour period on Blackout Wednesday (6 p.m. Wednesday – 6 a.m. Thanksgiving). For a typical 48 period (Wednesday-Thursday), roughly a 100 people are arrested in Minnesota for DWI.

Speak Up and Plan a Sober Ride


  • Plan for a safe ride — designate a sober driver, use a safe, alternative transportation option, or stay at the location of the celebration.
  • Speak up – Offer to be a designated driver or be available to pick up a loved one anytime, anywhere. If you see an impaired person about to get behind the wheel, get them a safe ride home.
  • Buckle up — the best defense against a drunk driver.
  • Report drunk driving — call 911 when witnessing impaired driving behavior. Be prepared to provide location, license plate number and observed dangerous behavior.


The grant funded enhanced DWI enforcement campaign is a component of the state’s Toward Zero Deaths (TZD) program. The Minnesota departments of Public Safety, Transportation and Health collaborate on improving traffic safety for all. 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 medical and trauma response.

Captain Deric Swenson, 218.299.5186

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