Almost everyone enjoys relaxing with some drinks, especially when gathered with loved ones over the holidays. But Minnesota roads see a tragic number of injures and deaths related to driving under the influence of alcohol every year – and a significant portion of these accidents occur during fall and winter holidays.
DWIs increase dramatically over the holidays
The Minnesota Department of Public Safety releases yearly reports on the effects of driving while intoxicated (DWI). Statewide, around a third of deaths on Minnesota roads were the result of alcohol consumption in 2017. That same year, there were 24,862 DWI arrests, and 2,389 recorded incidents of injuries caused by impaired driving.
The number of DWIs that occur on Minnesota’s roads sharply increases every year during the holiday season. For example, in 2019, police arrested over 100 Minnesotans for driving under the influence of alcohol over the Christmas holiday, a number much higher than typical weekends during other parts of the year.
This is principally due to the festive atmosphere and increased rates of alcohol consumption when friends and family gather to celebrate fall and winter holidays from Thanksgiving through New Year’s together. While there’s nothing wrong with enjoying alcohol during the holidays, you should make sure that you and your loved ones are not part of this year’s DWI statistics.
Avoiding DWI charges and injuries
When it comes to driving after drinking, it’s best not to risk it. Even if you feel like you didn’t drink that much and that you are in control, you should wait several hours before driving or ask someone who hasn’t been drinking to give you a ride.
If you don’t have a designated driver easily available, you can take advantage of a ride-sharing app to arrange an inexpensive ride. The cost of an Uber or Lyft ride is much less than the fines and possible jail time that come with a DWI conviction – not to mention the risk of injury to yourself and others.
Minnesota police take driving under the influence of alcohol very seriously, and the penalties for doing so are severe. Play it safe, and don’t let a DWI charge dampen your holiday spirits.