ROCHESTER, Minn. — Law enforcement officials know that St. Patrick’s Day weekend is dangerous for drinking and driving so they are reminding you not to push your luck and get behind the wheel.
They will be patrolling in Iowa and Minnesota this weekend.
Over the past five years in Minnesota more than 1,450 motorists have been arrested for DWI on St. Patrick’s Day and it has been going up each year.
“We don’t know what the numbers are going to indicate, but every year we try and put more and more officers out to make sure that nobody goes through a serious or fatal crash with an alcohol-related traffic fatality,” said Trooper Thomas Wright of the Minnesota State Patrol.
Safety officials are worried about this year’s Monday holiday because there is a full weekend to celebrate.
“Alcohol-related deaths have gone down somewhat in the past few years, but the number of DWI arrests have gone up so that’s hard to say, we just need people to plan safely, plan that ride before you go out and celebrate,” Wright said.
Eight people lost their lives in Iowa last March due to alcohol-related traffic deaths. Two of them fell on St. Patrick’s Day weekend.