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September 1, 2014

DWI deaths, arrests down in Minnesota

Drunken driving arrests are on track for a decrease compared to a similar end-of-summer period last year, the Star Tribune reports.

Over the past two weekends, 605 drunken drivers were arrested as part of a statewide DWI enforcement campaign, the newspaper reports. During a similar crackdown to close out last summer, there were 1,787 arrests over a three-weekend period culminating on Labor Day. This year’s campaign will continue through Monday as well.

Fox 21 Duluth notes that during the past five years, 2007–2011, 651 people were killed in Minnesota drunken driving-related 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 give some credit to public awareness campaigns, including “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” and cheeky but striking “Don’t Be What You Drink” ads, which include spots like these: