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High price of DWI

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opinion Brainerd, 56401

Brainerd MN 506 James St. / PO Box 974 56401

More than 400 people are killed on Minnesota roads each year and the cause behind many of the deaths is drinking and driving.

As a law enforcement officer, I have responded to my fair share of alcohol-related crashes. I’ve seen the horrors of these preventable tragedies.

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Just in Crow Wing County over the last three years, alcohol-related crashes accounted for seven deaths and 11 serious injuries — costing us $10,143,800. During this same period, 1,302 impaired drivers were arrested for DWI.

Please do your part to keep our roads safe by not drinking and driving. Whatever your plans are to celebrate, celebrate safely! Adherence to the following safe driving tips can make our roadways safer throughout Minnesota during this holiday season:

• 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.

Remember, preventing unnecessary deaths on Minnesota roads is everyone’s responsibility. Don’t risk getting behind the wheel after drinking too much — impaired motorists will be arrested and face the consequences.

Joe Dwyer

Crow Wing County Passenger Safety

Coalition Member

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