A holiday beer with a friend. A glass of wine at a family member’s home. One shot for the road. A drink here or there can seem insignificant but one drink can affect a driver’s judgement. This holiday season, give the gift of life by choosing a sober ride every time you decide to have even one drink.
To help keep families together this holiday season, the Northfield Police Department will be participating with law enforcement statewide in an extra DWI enforcement campaign running on weekends starting November 27 through December 28.
Motorists need to plan ahead for sober rides even when traveling to friends and family’s homes for the holidays, not just when going to the bars.
“When people head to establishments, knowing they are going to drink, many plan ahead for a sober ride,” said Sergeant Kevin Tussing. “Unfortunately, a sober ride home from dinner at a family member or friend’s house is not always thought of as much as when people go to bars, but it’s just as important. As your guests arrive, ask them about their plans, and if they don’t have a plan, get them a ride home or offer them a bed for the night. It’s much better to lie in a bed than a coffin.”
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 December 30 (2012-2017).
DWI arrests year-round per holiday
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.
Local agencies participating in the statewide campaign are Dundas, Faribault, Lonsdale and Northfield Police Department’s along with the Rice County Sheriff’s Office and the Minnesota State Patrol.
The 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.