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St Patrick's Day high on list for alcohol crashes

St Patrick's Day high on list for alcohol crashes Click to Enlarge Photo:

Mar 15, 2012 at 1:10 pm

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - Law enforcement agencies statewide will increase enforcement this St. Patrick's Day weekend, a traditionally risky time on Minnesota roadways.

The Minnesota Department of Public Safety officials are especially concerned this year because St. Patrick's Day is on a Saturday. They say the holiday has been safer in recent years when St. Pat's fell on a weekday.

The last time the holiday was on a weekend was 2007 when 527 motorists were arrested for drunken driving and all three traffic deaths were alcohol-related. During a typical weekend in Minnesota, about 170 motorists are arrested for DWI.

The department's Office of Traffic Safety says seven deaths were in alcohol-related crashes during the St. Patrick's holiday from 2006 to 2010. Nearly 1,600 people were cited for drunken driving during the same period.

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