Of all the places to start the new year, a "human kennel" would probably not be your first choice.
Minnesota's Office of Traffic Safety says that phrase is how one sergeant describes the cells where drunk driving suspects are sent after their arrests.
The office, which is part of the Department of Public Safety (DPS), has released a new video showing viewers exactly what happens during a DWI booking.
DPS says it walks the viewer through the handcuffs, fingerprinting, jail uniform, and mug shot that come immediately after a drunk driving arrest. It also makes the point that long-term costs can include thousands of dollars in court fees and lost wages as well as the potential loss of driver's license.
A former DWI offender worked with the State Patrol and the Scott County Sheriff's office to produce "Locked Up: A DWI Booking."
Of course, the video's release just before New Year's Eve is no coincidence.
Extra drunk driving patrols that started just before Thanksgiving will continue through this weekend. DPS says officers from more than 300 law enforcement agencies around the state will work overtime shifts specifically to patrol for DWI suspects, with funding from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Better numbers than most holidays
Compared to other holidays, New Year's Eve revelers actually do a better job of planning ahead for a sober ride home.
DPS says over the last five years, 12.5 percent of Minnesota traffic deaths on New Year's have been tied to drunk driving. On Christmas, by comparison, 46 percent of road deaths are alcohol-related and on Thanksgiving it's nearly 54 percent.
Here are the holiday standings:
- Thanksgiving: 53.8 percent
- Christmas: 46.2 percent
- Fourth of July: 40 percent
- Memorial Day: 27.3 percent
- Labor Day: 16.7 percent
- New Year’s Day: 12.5 percent
In the Twin Cities area, rides on Metro Transit buses and trains will be free from 6 p.m. Thursday evening until 3 a.m. Friday.
Not all bus lines keep running after midnight, though, so Metro Transit has a page where you can see which ones do. Beer maker Miller Lite has been sponsoring free New Year's Eve rides in the Twin Cities since 1997 and – combined with St. Patrick's Day – it has covered the cost of 1 million rides, the Star Tribune says.
A list of sober ride services compiled by AAA includes several in the Twin Cities and others in Duluth, Bemidji, and Hinckley.
Drink & Drive Intelligently is among the state's largest designated driver companies.