ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) -- The Minnesota State Patrol wants motorists to slow down as it increases patrols ahead of Labor Day.
Minnesota has reached 300 traffic deaths before Labor Day for the first in more than a decade.
"This weekend we're going to see a lot more traffic with Labor Day," Minnesota State Patrol Sgt. Troy Christianson said. "We also see a lot more celebrations. Labor Day weekend is the holiday with the third most DWIs per hour. So, what we'll do is we'll have extra patrols on the roadway. There will be more troopers, deputies and also police officers just on patrol looking for impaired drivers."
According to the Minnesota State Patrol, drinking and driving rates have significantly dropped since 2011, and drunk-driving related deaths have dropped 42% over the same time period.
The agency added that the numbers have started to increase again amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
State public safety officials are asking people to slow down, don’t drink and drive, arrange a sober ride and wear a seatbelt.
Christianson said DUI convictions can cost someone thousands of dollars. But worse, driving recklessly or under the influence can seriously injure or kill someone.
According to state patrol, as of Aug. 23, 15,657 DUIs were reported in the state of Minnesota compared to 14,871 in Aug. 2020.
The state patrol said it's important for motorists to remember the Minnesota "Move Over Law. "Which requires drivers need to move over for emergency vehicles with flashing lights and maintenance vehicles that are stopped on the side of the highway.