Drive safe as the weather gets nicer

Safe Driving over the holiday weekend

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(ABC 6 News) – With the weather getting warmer and St. Patty’s Day coming up this weekend, some drivers tend to let loose, a common concern this time of year for law enforcement.

After 46-year-old Joseph Rabe was arrested for allegedly fleeing from police, drinking and driving, and speeding more than 100 miles per hour. Olmsted County Attorney Mark Ostrem says he doesn’t take situations like that lightly.

“So, there’s just a whole lot of different changes that can get wrapped up in something like that. I do think people don’t recognize some the collateral consequences that can come about,” said Ostrem.

In the state of Minnesota, driving 100 MPH or more could lead to someone losing their license. Driving drunk can result in fines and jail time.

The Olmsted County Sheriff’s Office is alerting people out celebrating St. Patrick’s Day this weekend to be safe.

“So, go out have a good time, enjoy the holiday, enjoy your friends all of that, but just make a good conscious decision to not drive,” said Captain Kelly Lee with OCSO.

“If you’re going to drink stay out from behind the wheel. You know, walk you’re better off walking, call a cab, something,” said Paul Whitney of Rochester.

But officials are also raising concerns over pedestrian safety.

“We have been getting many numerous complaints and close calls,” said Capt. Lee.

Paul Whitney walks in downtown frequently and says he’s been part of some of those close calls.

“The cars are coming, and they actually don’t even pay attention and you just about get ran over all the time. And one of the ones down there is at the civic center and they do events. There’s a lot of people. I could see bunches of people getting hit at one time it’s kinda crazy,” said Whitney.

But what’s not crazy is the serious charges a driver could face by hitting a pedestrian.

“Depending on the circumstances, that could be negligent or gross negligent. If you actually hit somebody, there could be criminal charges involved, but again the collateral consequences of actually hurting somebody hitting somebody. We just need people to keep their heads up and pay attention,” said Ostrem.

So big things to keep in mind here as the weather gets nicer and we approach the holiday weekend. Drive safe speeds, don’t drive under the influence or distracted. And with a lot of people out bar hopping and celebrating St. Patrick’s Day watching out for people crossing the street.