Hey, auld acquaintances! Extra DWI patrols will be out in force

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Probably the worst way to bring in 2014 would be by sobering up in a jail cell.

KSTP has a New Year's Eve story reminding revelers that the Minnesota Department of Public Safety will assign extra patrols of state troopers to look for drunken drivers on Tuesday night. They will join local law enforcement officers who will also be out in force on the holiday often associated with drinking.
The Associated Press reports the department's Office of Traffic Safety said more than 2,300 people have been arrested for driving while intoxicated on Minnesota roads on New Years since 2008. There have been five fatalities and more than 200 injuries from crashes involving impaired drivers.

A DPS news release from January 2, 2013 said that at least 300 people were arrested for DWI in Minnesota over the holiday last year. That figure was consistent with recent New Year's Eve DWI arrests; the state has averaged 295 DWI arrests during the previous five years for the holiday. The arrest numbers reflect statewide DWIs from the State Patrol, county sheriff’s offices and municipal law enforcement agencies.

Punishment for DWI can cost thousands in fines and reinstatement fees, and can include a lost license and jail time.

Celebrants who overdo it can turn to public transportation. Metro Transit in the Twin Cities will offer free rides on all bus and light rail trains starting at 6 p.m. Tuesday. The offer is not valid on Northstar.

In the Duluth area, the Northland's News Center reports that the DTA will offer free DTA bus fares after five on New Years Eve. Across the bridge in Wisconsin, bars that are members of the Tavern league provide customers with a free cab ride home. Eighty two bars in Superior and Douglas County are part of the "Safe Ride" program.

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