St. Paul, MN (KROC-AM News)- Minnesota’s annual year-end DWI crackdown starts Wednesday. 

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A news release from the state Office of Traffic Safety says state troopers, sheriff’s deputies and police officers are partaking in a statewide DWI enforcement campaign that runs from November 23 through December 31. Law enforcement agencies across the state will be looking for drivers impaired by alcohol and other substances throughout the holiday season. 

Officials say Minnesota law enforcement have reported over 12,000 DWI’s between the Wednesday before Thanksgiving and the end of the year over the last five years. There’s been 620 traffic fatalities involving an impaired drivers over the last five years. 

Law enforcement is also highlighting an increase in “drugged driving” incidents. Officials say drugged driving accounted for 6,941 DWI incidents from 2012-2016 compared with 15,747 from 2017-2021, a 227% increase. 

“The holidays are a busy but fun time filled with sharing food, laughter and time-honored traditions with our family and friends,” said Office of Traffic Safety Director Mike Hanson. “This should be a time for Minnesotans to take a break from the daily stresses of life. Alcohol may be a part of the celebrating and that’s OK as long as you’re not driving after drinking. The same guidance applies with any substance that can impair your driving, including sleep aids or THC edibles. Drive smart by planning a safe and sober ride.”

The state office of traffic safety is encouraging Minnesotans to plan for a sober ride, speak up if someone is impaired and planning to get behind the wheel, offer to be a designated driver and report suspected drunk drivers by calling 911 and having a vehicle’s location, plate information and observed driving behavior.

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