MPD officers on alert for impaired drivers this Halloween weekend

In effort to keep residents and visitors safe this Halloween weekend, the Minneapolis Police Department will go ‘trick-or-treating’ for impaired drivers. With Halloween falling on a Saturday, there is a greater likelihood in the influx of revelers on the streets and behind the wheel and Minneapolis Police Department urges Minneapolis residents to have a plan for a safe ride home before indulging. Party-goers should designate a sober driver, use alternative or public transportation, or stay the night at the location of the celebration.

Halloween has become one of the biggest party nights of the year. In Minnesota, during Halloween party weekends 2006–2008, seven of the 15 traffic deaths were alcohol-related, another 40 were seriously injured in crashes of which 15 were alcohol-related and 1,487 motorists were arrested for DWI. During the same period, in Hennepin County, there were 60 alcohol-related deaths and 174 alcohol-related injuries, costing the county $80,678,000.

In all of 2008, 7,505 impaired drivers were arrested for DWI in Hennepin County. In Minnesota during this same period, alcohol-related crashes resulted in 519 deaths and 1,159 serious injuries and 116,515 motorists were arrested for DWI.

The Minneapolis Police Department also emphasizes the importance of pedestrian safety on Halloween. Treat-seekers and parents should review basic pedestrian rules; cross at intersections or marked crosswalks, use flashlights and reflective wear, and never dart in front of traffic. Motorists should reduce speeds and remain alert at all times.

The enforcement effort is a component of the states Toward Zero Deaths (TZD) initiative. TZD is the state’s cornerstone traffic safety program that employs a multidisciplinary approach to address traffic safety issues through enhanced enforcement, education efforts, improved engineering and efficient emergency trauma response. The Minneapolis Police Department will participate in additional enforcement and education campaigns during 2009–2010 to target seat belt use, speeding and impaired driving.

Oct. 30, 2009

Published Oct. 30, 2009