The State Patrol warned motorists not to drink and drive over the long St. Patrick's Day weekend and that extra officers would be out looking for those who did.

Preliminary reports show that police arrested 420 people for drunken driving over the three day weekend, Friday through Monday. The also picked up another 75 between 9 a.m. Monday and 6 a.m. Tuesday, bringing the total number of DWI arrests to 495, the State Patrol said.

The number could go higher as additional information is submitted to the Department of Public Safety's Office of Traffic Safety, officials said.

"Driving drunk puts the driver and everyone else on the road in danger," said Sgt. Jesse Grabow of the Minnesota State Patrol. "There is no reason to get behind the wheel when you have had too much to drink."

St. Patrick's Day is one of the more dangerous days to be on the roads. Over the past six years, more than 1,450 motorists were arrested for DWI on St. Patrick’s Day.

In addition, there were 1,768 crashes during the same time period, resulting in nine traffic fatalities.
Alcohol-related crashes account for about one-third of the state's total traffic deaths, the patrol said. In 2013, 390 people died in traffic crashes on state roads and 25,426 motorists were cited for drunken driving.

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