DWI enforcement up during holidays

Published 8:04 am Friday, December 17, 2010

Having a holly, jolly Christmas may include alcohol for some, but local police and deputies are trying to keep that alcohol out of the hands of motorists this December.

From Dec. 1 to Dec. 16, a total of eight individuals were arrested for DWI throughout Mower County — six of those arrests taking place within the city limits.

Austin Police Department and the Mower County Sheriff’s Department are taking part in a statewide increased DWI patrol campaign through New Year’s Eve in an effort to decrease alcohol-related accidents around the holidays when parties are rampant.

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The Minnesota Department of Public Safety says 675 motorists have been arrested for drunken driving in the first half of December.

In all, 400 agencies are conducting increased DWI patrols through New Year’s Eve. The preliminary results released Wednesday are from 170 agencies.

The enforcement campaign is coordinated by DPS’s Office of Traffic Safety and it’s supported by $350,000 in federal funding, to cover 7,000 extra hours of enforcement.

In Decembers from 2007 through 2009, there were 34 alcohol-related traffic deaths in Minnesota.