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Police to up DWI enforcement during weekend

Football fans planning to drink during the Super Bowl this weekend are reminded to plan ahead for a sober ride home.

The Olmsted County Sheriff's Office and Rochester Police Department will step up DWI enforcement patrols to sack drunk drivers as Minnesota tries to make it five years running without a drunk driving death on Super Bowl Sunday.

"In order to keep this Super Bowl streak going for a fifth consecutive year, we need everyone to plan for a sober ride home," said Sgt. Vince Scheckel. "Planning for a sober ride and making it a habit go a long way toward stopping preventable traffic deaths."

From 2008-2012, there have been nine traffic deaths — one alcohol-related, in 2008 — on Super Bowl Sunday in Minnesota. In that same period, more than 1,100 motorists have been arrested for DWI.

Authorities offer the following keys to a safe day:


• Plan for a safe ride: Designated a sober driver, use a cab/public transportation, or stay at the celebration. Let family/friends know if you're available to offer a safe ride home.

• Buckle up: The best defense against a drunk driver is to wear your seat belt.

• Report drunk driving: Call 911 if you witness impaired driving behavior. Be prepared to provide the location, license plate number and the dangerous behavior you saw.

Each year in Minnesota, nearly 30,000 people are arrested for DWI; one in seven Minnesota drivers has a DWI on record, statistics show.

A DWI can result in loss of license for up to a year, cost thousands of dollars and possible jail time.

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