The holidays will look very different this year with COVID-19 upending so much of what Minnesotans enjoy during this time: large, family gatherings; relaxing with friends at bars and restaurants; and company holiday parties. The pandemic’s effects have not only led to reduced activities and less busy roads, but an alarming climb in traffic fatalities. Impaired driving is part of the problem.
Law enforcement agencies across the state will be preventing impaired driving from further affecting an already difficult year and holiday season for many Minnesotans by increasing their presence on our roads. Officers, deputies and troopers will be participating in an extra DWI enforcement and awareness campaign starting Nov. 25 and running on weekends through Dec. 31.
The Minnesota Department of Public Safety Office of Traffic Safety (DPS-OTS) coordinates the statewide campaign and the funding provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. New holiday advertising from DPS-OTS will be running to help influence smart choices behind the wheel.
“The pandemic is relentless, spreading among our friends and families, and stressing our healthcare resources,” said Mike Hanson, Office of Traffic Safety director. “We cannot have impaired driving further compromising our critical medical capabilities for those who are truly in need. Plan a sober ride and stop the heartache and empty chairs at the holiday table.”
Impaired Driving Kills the Holiday Spirit Alcohol-related crashes not only take lives, they change them forever. They cause an average of 357 life-changing injuries each year (2015-2019). Seriously injured traffic victims require hospital care in a current healthcare environment that is dealing with a pandemic surge.