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Sheriff Eric Holien: Don't be a holiday drunk driver

Sheriff Eric Holien says stepped-up DWI enforcement will focus on Thanksgiving Eve and run throughout the Christmas holiday season.

Reader Opinion letter
Reader Opinion letter
Tribune graphic

The Kandiyohi County Sheriff’s Office, along with the Willmar Police Department, will be serving extra DWI enforcement for Thanksgiving — historically one of the year’s deadliest holidays on our roads. This stepped-up enforcement will focus on Thanksgiving Eve and run throughout the Christmas holiday season.

Believe it or not, the days of the year with the highest percentage of traffic deaths caused by drunk driving are the family holidays. It’s not Super Bowl or New Year’s Eve — it’s Thanksgiving and Christmas.

The toughest part of law enforcement’s job is knocking on the door of a person in our community to tell them their loved one is not coming home. What’s even worse is knowing that a person’s death could have been prevented if the driver had just lined up a sober ride.

One in four fatal crashes in Minnesota is drunk driving-related. That’s almost 100 lives every year. From 2014-2018, there were 21 alcohol-related deaths and serious injuries. Let’s start driving toward zero deaths.

We’re asking people to refuse to let their friends or family members get behind the wheel after drinking. Speak up and find them a sober ride home. For the safety of every resident in Kandiyohi County, do your part to keep our roads safe, and let there be no empty places at our Thanksgiving tables.

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Sheriff Eric Holien
Kandiyohi County

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