Safety officials aim for 5th year without New Year's DWI fatality

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Public safety officials are stepping up anti-drunk driving messages in hopes that Minnesota could have a fifth consecutive year with no drunken-driving deaths on New Year's Eve.

In the past 10 years, there have been eight drunken-driving deaths in Minnesota during the New Year's holiday, but none in the past four years, the Associated Press reported.

An estimated 1,300 people had been arrested for DWI in the first 18 days of the month, according to a mid-month release from the Minnesota Department of Public Safety Office of Traffic Safety.

State safety officials, which run a campaign called Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over, remind drivers that the consequences can be severe:

"A DWI offense can result in loss of license for up to a year, thousands in costs and possible jail time. Repeat DWI offenders, as well as first-time offenders arrested at 0.16 and above alcohol-concentration level, must use ignition interlock in order to regain legal driving privileges, or face at least one year without a driver’s license. Offenders with three or more offenses are required to use interlock for three to six years, or they will never regain driving privileges."

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