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Minnesota launches statewide campaign to curb impaired driving during holidays

Extra patrols planned between now and New Year's Eve.

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Graphic by Carli Greninger/Grand Forks Herald

ST. PAUL — In an effort to keep the holidays a safe time for travelers, extra DWI patrols are planned to take place on Minnesota roads between Wednesday, Nov. 23, and New Year's Eve.

Minnesota State Patrol troopers, county deputies and police officers will participate in the statewide campaign.

Officers will be looking for drivers who appear impaired, whether by alcohol or other substances.

Alcohol, cold medicine, prescription medication or any other drug can contribute to impairment, according to the Minnesota Department of Public Safety Office of Traffic Safety, which coordinates the patrol, education and awareness campaign with funding provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

"The pandemic has turned life upside down for many of us, and we’re now getting back to spending time with our loved ones," said Mike Hanson, Office of Traffic Safety director.

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"Let’s make sure we are creating positive memories this holiday season by making smart choices behind the wheel," Hanson said. "I don’t want to be a Grinch, but too many drivers are doing the opposite. A significant jump in traffic fatalities since the pandemic is causing so much tragedy. Make the decision to drive smart by planning a sober ride and not driving impaired under any substance."

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