On a hot summer day, it’s easy to throw back a few drinks while enjoying the beach or fishing on the dock, and it’s easy to forget that driving home with a buzz is drunk driving.

As summer winds down, the Becker County Sheriff’s Office will be turning up the heat on drunk drivers starting on Friday, Aug. 21, as deputies will be conducting extra DWI patrols through Sept. 7.

The enforcement is part of a statewide effort with officers, deputies and troopers from more than 300 agencies working overtime with funding provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The Minnesota Department of Public Safety Office of Traffic Safety coordinates the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over enforcement and education effort.

“It’s time to take a stand against those who choose to get behind the wheel after drinking,” said Becker County Sheriff Todd Glander.

“Don’t be afraid to speak up. Take the keys away from a friend or loved one, and find them a sober ride home. It could save a life, even yours.”

As the end of summer nears, Labor Day is the second deadliest major holiday with 24 fatalities over the last five years on Minnesota roads.

(The Fourth of July is first with 25 fatalities. Memorial Day is third with 22. The next three are New Year’s Day with 16, Christmas with 13 and Thanksgiving with 13.)

More than 25,000 drivers are arrested for DWI in Minnesota each year. That’s nearly three DWI arrests per hour throughout the state.

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