Keep the safe streak going this New Year’s holiday

The Minnesota Department of Public Safety reports that the state has not had any drunken-driving traffic fatalities during the New Year’s holiday for the past four years; a safe holiday next week could make it five in a row.

It’s part of a trend of more people planning ahead for a safe ride home on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day, officials said.

Between 2002 and 2007 in Minnesota, the holiday saw 25 traffic deaths (seven involving a drunken driver); 60 serious injuries (26 alcohol-related); and 1,608 DWI arrests.

Since 2007 on the two-day holiday, Minnesota has seen 10 traffic deaths (one involving a drunken driver, but not since 2008); 24 serious injuries (eight alcohol-related) and 1,477 DWI arrests.

“Statistics show more people are doing the right thing by planning ahead for a safe ride home on New Year’s Eve,” Jean Ryan, DPS Office of Traffic Safety impaired driving coordinator, said in a news release. “We hope people make a resolution to continue that behavior throughout all of 2013.”

We do, too.

Whether it’s calling a cab, arranging for a designated driver or using public transportation, make sure you take the necessary steps to stay safe — and keep everyone else safe, too — on Northland roads as we celebrate the arrival of 2013 next week.

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