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While highway deaths continue to be reduced, the number of deaths caused by drunk drivers continues to rise. This just isn’t acceptable and needs to be addressed.

  • Last year, 190 people in Minnesota died in accidents where someone had been drinking. That’s up from the year before and the year before that.
  • Most alcohol-related crashes happen Saturday between 1 a.m. and 3 a.m.
  • More than 75 percent of those drivers are men and 56 percent are between the ages of 20 and 34.
  • About 40 percent have drunk driving records and their average blood alcohol level is 0.15.
  • About 12 percent of Minnesotans have been arrested for drunken driving.

This past week, two separate deaths will hopefully increase the attention to this issue.

On Tuesday, Christopher Iverson’s family took him off life support. Prosecutors say a drunken driver hit him early Sunday morning while he stood at a Minneapolis bus stop.

That same morning in Champlin, police say a drunken driver hit and killed Heather Solberg and then took off. She had been walking home with friends from a fireworks display.

The numbers suggest problems that law enforcement and maybe the legislature will have to further address. It may require another look at the joint and several laws. When the recent law was revised, bars were granted reduced liability when they serve a drunk and the drunk causes a tragedy. It’s time that the law change be revisited.

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