Minnesota will have extra patrols on the roads for July Fourth holiday
ST. PAUL—As one of the worst holidays for reckless driving approaches, state officials are ramping up their patrol on Minnesota roadways.
The Minnesota Department of Public Safety's Office of Traffic Safety officials are reminding people to make safe driving decisions during the Fourth of July holiday. The department is coordinating more than 300 law enforcement agencies to increase patrol in an effort to combat the summer influx of speeders.
Nearly four people per hour are arrested for drunk driving on the Fourth of July holiday in Minnesota, making it one of the worst holidays for drunk driving.
Labor Day, St. Patrick's Day and Memorial Day trail July Fourth in holiday DWI arrests.
State safety officials say people who are considering drinking for the holiday should have plans for a sober drive, and are warning people of the dangers drunk and reckless driving pose to themselves, passengers and other motorists.
"A DWI can change your life forever. Whether it's financially or carrying the burden of taking a life, it's not worth it. Line up a sober ride and celebrate the holiday responsibly," said Minnesota State Patrol Lt. Tiffani Nielson in a press release.
The state also is increasing speed enforcement on roads statewide starting July 6, lasting until July 22. The federal government funds the extra enforcement, including police, sheriff and state patrol.
Officials say it costs an average of $110 in court fees for a person ticketed with going 10 mph over the speed limit, which can double if someone is caught going 20 mph over the limit.
Speed also is the most prevalent factor in motorcycle fatalities. Public safety officials say 24 motorcyclists have perished on the roads so far in 2018, compared to 22 who died by this time last year.
Wearing a helmet and bright-colored gear, staying in drivers' viewpoints and not driving distracted or drunk are safety measures motorcyclists can utilize when riding.
Reckless driving by the numbers
• Over the Fourth of July holiday period, an average of 471 people are arrested for DWI in Minnesota.
• During that same time period, around eight people are seriously injured in an alcohol-related car crash.
• The Fourth of July leads the holidays in DWI arrests per hour, with an average of 3.9 people arrested per hour. Labor Day, St. Patrick's Day and Memorial Day trail, with 3.8, 3.8 and 3.6 arrests per hour, respectively.
• According to preliminary numbers released from the state, 88 people were killed in speed-related automobile crashes in 2017.
• The "100 Deadliest Days" time period, spanning from Memorial Day to Labor Day, typically has an influx of automobile deaths. During the 100 Deadliest Days of 2017, preliminary numbers show speeding was a factor in 23 fatal crashes.