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Officials Stepping Up DWI Enforcement Through Labor Day

MAPLEWOOD, Minn. (WCCO) -- More troopers wills be out on Minnesota roadways as the end of summer approaches, cracking down on drinking and driving.

In the last five years, 479 people have lost their lives in drunk driving-related traffic crashes on Minnesota roads, the Department of Public Safety says.

On Thursday, officials set up a pedal cart course in the middle of Maplewood Mall to drive home the importance of not drinking and driving.

I finished the course, and it wasn't easy.

I had to wear "drunk googles" that simulate what it's like to drive under the influence of alcohol. (See how I did in the video above.)

Alcohol is the leading cause of fatalities on Minnesota roads, officials say. One in four deaths is drunk driving related.

In 2014, 2,040 people suffered injuries in alcohol-related crashes, the Department of Public Safety says.

Also, more than 25,000 drivers were arrested for DWI last year. That's an average of 70 people per day.

Drivers will see enhanced DWI enforcement on Minnesota roads starting Friday. The extra patrols will run through Labor Day.

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