Minnesota public safety officials are reporting encouraging numbers in their campaign against drunken driving.
An annual late-summer enforcement campaign has resulted in fewer drunken-driving arrests. The number of fatal crashes involving alcohol has also continued a five-year decline, the Star Tribune reports.
Department of Public Safety spokesman Doug Neville says people are becoming more aware of the dangers of impaired driving.
Over the past two weekends, 605 drunken drivers were arrested in the statewide campaign. A similar DWI crackdown to close out summer in 2011 resulted in 1,787 DWI arrests.
During the past five years, 651 people were killed in Minnesota drunk driving crashes, accounting for one-third of the state’s 2,165 total road deaths: 2011 — 111; 2010 — 121; 2009 — 112; 2008 — 137; 2007 — 170. Officials say the 34 percent reduction in drunk driving deaths from five years ago points to motorist making smart plans for a sober ride and the effectiveness of enhanced enforcement and education campaigns.
The Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over enforcement campaign runs through Labor Day. State officials are urging Minnesotans to plan ahead for a sober ride to avoid the dangers and harsh consequences of a DWI.