Authorities out in full force for holiday weekend

(ABC 6 News) – With many people taking to the roads and waterways for the 4th of July holiday weekend, officials in both Minnesota and Iowa say they’re concerned about safety for everyone.

In recent years authorities say there has been a spike in impaired driving crashes and crash related fatalities. "According to the Nation Highway Safety Administration, in 2020 nearly 493 people nationally were killed in traffic accidents, 201 of those fatal accidents involved an impaired driver," said Iowa State Trooper Tom Williams.

This holiday weekend authorities say they’ll out in full-force and have a zero tolerance policy for impaired driving.

"Law enforcement across the state are participating in the national ‘Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over’ campaign. We are going to be focusing on the impaired driver as well as other traffic violations," said Williams.

Impaired driving also applies to boating, and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources says they’ve also seen a high number of crashes and fatalities due to intoxicated boaters.

"Last year we were coming off a really high number of fatalities on the water and so I think especially over these really busy weekends when we know there’s going to be a lot of traffic on the water it’s especially important to talk about the ways people can be safe on the water," said Recreation Safety Outreach Coordinator Lisa Dugan.

Dugan says drinking while you’re driving a boat is just as bad as drinking and driving a vehicle, adding that you can also get ticketed and that ticket will carry over to your state driver’s license in Minnesota.

Boaters are also always encouraged to wear a life jacket, and in Minnesota it’s the law for children under the age of 10.