Extra patrol on roadways this weekend

ALBERT LEA, Minn.- Many folks ring in the New Year at their neighborhood bar or a friend’s house and law enforcement is taking extra precaution to make sure everyone makes it home safely.

The Albert Lea Police Department will have extra patrols out on the roads this weekend.

“The whole idea of extra patrol on the holiday is to increase awareness of the dangers of drinking and driving by adding extra enforcement for the people who choose not to make smart decisions,” said Lt. Darren Hanson with the Albert Lea Police Department.

It’s all part of the statewide “Toward Zero Deaths” campaign. The program’s goal is to increase enforcement during holidays throughout the year to reduce the number of fatal crashes on Minnesota’s roadways.

Folks in Albert Lea agree the extra eyes on the road are necessary.

“Our police department does a really good job deciding what the important things are so just knowing that there’s going to be more patrol is a wake-up call in itself,” said Holly Karsjens of Albert Lea.

Karsjens isn’t celebrating New Year’s Eve. She’s working instead, but she feels safer knowing more police are looking out for drunk drivers.

“It’s nice to know when I come home that I don’t have to worry about some crazy person out there driving around that would make me worry about my own safety,” said Karsjens.

Lt. Hanson says the goal is not to make more arrests. It’s to encourage someone thinking about driving to make a smarter choice for everyone’s safety.

“Overall Freeborn County is a very safe county, but the more we can do to help people stay safe the better,” said Hanson.

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