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Extra DWI enforcement in region

The Minnesota Department of Public Safety announced Thursday that extra DWI enforcement will be patrolling roads statewide now through the Labor Day weekend.

More than 300 law enforcement agencies will be participating, including the Red Wing Police Department.

Through April, May and June this year, Red Wing police made 22 arrests for driving under the influence.

“We try our best to catch drunk drivers before they can cause harm or damage, but the numbers show that people are still driving under the influence,” Police Chief Roger Pohlman said. “Our goal is to make sure the safety of our community remains the highest priority and to protect people from the effects of drunk driving.”

Inside the numbers

According to Department of Public Safety reports, one out of every four deaths on Minnesota roads are related to drunken driving. In the last five years (2011–15), there were 462 drunken driving-related traffic deaths in Minnesota, with 95 people killed in 2015 alone. Each year, an average of 253 life-changing injuries involve alcohol-related crashes. Approximately 27,000 drivers were arrested for DWI in the state between 2011-2015.

Law enforcement officers in Wisconsin also will be out in force to combat drunken driving during “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” now through Labor Day.

“Enforcement and educational efforts to prevent drunken driving, like the ‘Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over’ campaign, have helped reduce deaths from alcohol-related crashes by approximately 38 percent and injuries by nearly 50 percent over the last 10 years in Wisconsin,” said David Pabst, director of the Wisconsin Department of Transportation Bureau of Transportation Safety. “However, deaths in alcohol-related crashes increased from 162 in 2014 to 190 in 2015, which is a 17 percent increase, and injuries also increased from 4,932 to 5,174, which is a nearly 5 percent increase.”