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Boo! Minnesota law putting extra patrols on this weekend for Halloween

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ST. PAUL -- Law enforcement agencies from across Minnesota will have officers working additional patrols this weekend seeking Halloween partyers who get behind the wheel and drive after drinking alcohol.

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According to the State Department of Public Safety, Minnesota State Patrol troopers, county deputies and municipal officers will increase their impaired driving enforcement presence this weekend.

During the past five Halloween party weekends, from 2007 to 2011, 2,342 motorists were arrested for driving while impaired. Drunken driving crashes have resulted in seven deaths and 24 serious, life-altering injuries.

The campaign also includes television and radio advertising, including real video of real costumed drunken driving offenders.

"One costume you don't want to be wearing for Halloween is a county jail suit," says Jean Ryan, DPS Office of Traffic Safety impaired driving program coordinator. "Before you plan what you're wearing, plan a sober way home to avoid the dangers and consequences of a DWI."

Each year, around 30,000 motorists are arrested for DWI in Minnesota. Drunk driving crashes have resulted in 651 deaths during the past five years -- 111 in 2011. In 2011, the average DWI offender was arrested with a 0.155 alcohol-concentration level.

A DWI offense can result in loss of license for up to a year, thousands in costs and possible jail time.

To prevent drunken driving, the DPS suggests planning for a safe ride home and buckling up, along with being on the lookout for pedestrians and little goblins who are walking and trick or treating.

Drivers are also urged to report drunken driving by calling 911 if they witness impaired driving behavior. Be prepared to provide location, license plate number and observed dangerous behavior.

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