Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com) - It is a warning that comes with almost every major holiday – the danger of drinking and driving. While you might associate drunk driving with the time around bar close, law enforcement officers say you need to think again.
The State Patrol says it is not uncommon to make DWI arrests the morning after a driver's night of drinking.
According to data provided by the Minnesota State Patrol, in July of 2013 an estimated 60 people were arrested between the hours of five to nine a.m.
"It's not uncommon at all for us to make a DWI arrest at seven o'clock in the morning," said Captain Steve Stromback, "Maybe they [the drunk driver] thought they went to bed, they slept for a couple hours, they must be okay. That's not the case. It takes awhile for that alcohol to burn out of the system."
Trooper Isaac Ray works overnights for the Minnesota State Patrol. Throughout his shift he looks for signs of drivers who may have been drinking.
"Most of [the people I arrest for DWI] come from eight o'clock in the morning to three in the afternoon," said Ray, "But it's [the DWI arrests are] all over the place."
Trista Turnbull knows the tragedy that comes with drunk driving too well. In January 2012, Turnbull's first child, Everett Bergren, was hit by a drunk driver around 7:30 a.m. while his grandmother, Paula Bergren, drove him to school. Paula died that day. Everett suffered serious brain injuries, living another year before he died in January 2013.
"Who goes drinking and driving at 7:30 in the morning when kids are going to school?" said Paula, "That was hard. That was really hard."
The family of Everett Bergren have recently set up a scholarship in his name. The Everett Bergren Camp Fund will pay for two children between the ages of seven to 14 to attend camp, so they can enjoy the outdoor activities that Everett loved. You can make a donation at any U.S. Bank.
Written for the web by Jennifer Austin.