State Patrol ramping up DWI enforcement Halloween weekend

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The Minnesota Department of Public Safety says State Patrol officers will be increasing DWI enforcement efforts this weekend because of Halloween celebrations, the Pioneer Press reports.

Alcohol-related Halloween weekend crashes have resulted in seven deaths and 27 injuries over the past five years, the DPS said. In addition, 2,484 drivers were arrested on suspicion of DWI in the same window during that five-year period, the agency said.

"Impaired driving typically rears its ugly head during the Halloween party period, which creates a dangerous environment on our roads and highways," said Jody Oscarson, DPS Office of Traffic Safety impaired driving program coordinator in a news release. "Before you put on your costume and head out for the night, make sure you have a plan in place for a sober way home to avoid the dangers and consequences of driving drunk."

The DPS said Minnesota is on pace for 395 alcohol-related crash deaths this year, the same amount as 2012. At current, 300 people have died in alcohol-related crashes in Minnesota, just slightly less than 303 deaths at this point last year.

Looking ahead to the official Halloween holiday Thursday, the DPS is also reminding motorists to be on the lookout for pedestrians and trick-or-treaters, The Associated Press reports.

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