Motorists who drink and drive, beware. Law enforcement from across the state will be looking for you as a statewide crackdown on drunken driving begins Friday and runs through Labor Day.
The enforcement campaign comes as the number of Minnesotans caught for driving while drunk has taken a turn in the wrong direction. Police arrested 2,543 motorists for drunken driving in July, compared with 2,441 in July 2018. Arrest numbers also were up in June, with 2,571 motorists cited this year compared with 2,191 in June 2018.
The legal limit for driving in Minnesota is a .08% blood alcohol content.
Last year, 84 people in Minnesota died in crashes involving a drunken driver, up from 72 the previous year. It was the most since 2015 when more than 100 people died, the Department of Public Safety said.
Overall, deaths related to drunken driving nationally have fallen by more than a third over the past three decades, but nearly 30 people in the United States die in drunken-driving crashes every day, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
The agency awarded Minnesota $890,000 to carry out the extra enforcement, which will coincide with efforts in other states.