State Patrol Hosts Drunk Driving Event In Waite Park
WAITE PARK -- On Thursday, the Minnesota State Patrol wrapped 74 gifts that won't be opened this Christmas. The 74 gifts represented every person that died in 2016 on Minnesota roads due to drunk drivers.
The state patrol and Minnesota Department of Public Safety hosted the event at Crossroads Mall just outside of Scheels.
Sergeant Jesse Grabow says they have been hosting these events all around the state, and want to show people the effects of drunk driving.
"This is an opportunity to engage people in conversation to talk about the dangers of drinking and driving. What we have here are 74 gift boxes. These boxes represent the 74 deaths we had last year on Minnesota roads that were alcohol-related."
Grabow and other organizers used a simple demonstration to show you just how much alcohol can impair a driver. They would first let people throw bags, or corn hole, without drunk goggles on, they would have them do it again with them on. The throwers ability to hit the target was greatly affected and most people not even getting close to the original target.
Grabow says the patrol is interested in preventing drunk driving and not writing more tickets.
"When we have these enforcement campaigns it's not about how many tickets we write or arrests we make, it's really about trying to prevent [drunk driving]. We have an opportunity for people to come up and ask these questions and get them thinking about it."
From 2012 to 2016 there were 128,809 DWI arrests in Minnesota.
To try and help prevent fatalities, the Minnesota State Patrol is stepping up DWI enforcement through the Holidays.