Created: November 25, 2020 11:15 PM
(ABC 6 News) - A recent study found that Rochester is among the top cities with the most DUI's in the nation, taking the third spot.
ABC 6 News spoke to local law enforcement to see what they are doing to combat intoxicated driving during this holiday season.
"We have less people driving, but more people are dying and that's because people are taking more risk," Olmsted County Sherriff Kevin Torgerson said.
Sherriff Torgerson says the data is concerning.
According to a new report by Insurify, Rochester ranks third in the nation for cities with the most DUI's.
While the national average is 17 DUI's for every 1000 drivers, the Med City is around 57.
Local law enforcement is doing everything they can to try and bring those numbers down.
"We put extra deputies on the roads doing just that. Looking for in this case, the wave that started yesterday is a drunk driving DUI Wave that goes from now until after New Years," Sherriff Torgerson said.
Sheriff Torgerson says as we move into the holiday season, it's important to not only be mindful of yourself, but also friends and family getting behind the wheel, especially is alcohol is involved.
"Step up, give them a ride home or suggest that they get a ride home or they stay over night. Anything that you can do as a concerned citizen, and friend, or family member you should do to keep them off the road. It's as simple as that," Sherriff Torgerson said.
Sergeant Troy Christianson with the Minnesota State Patrol says he's not only noticed an increase in DUI's, but also alcohol related traffic fatalities.
"Currently we are at 361 traffic fatalities compared to 332 this time last year and alcohol is a leading contributing factor in traffic fatalities. One in four traffic fatalities in Minnesota is alcohol or impairment related," Sergeant Christianson said.
Sergeant Christianson says those deaths could have been avoided.
"We're going to have to continue to educate people on the dangers of driving impaired. We have to make sure they're aware of other options. They can use taxi services, or rideshared. But the most important thing is to just have a designated driver," Sergeant Christianson said.
The Minnesota Department of Public Safety released a DWI enforcement and awareness campaign. It plans to educate drivers on how to plan ahead, drive smart and prevent tragedy. It lasts until December 31.
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