ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) – Leading up to the Thanksgiving travel period, the Minnesota Department of Public Safety has released a list of the top thirteen counties in the state with the highest combined totals of drunk driving related deaths and injuries.

Between 2009 and 2011, these 13 counties accounted for almost half of Minnesota’s drunk driving related deaths (160), and more than half of the state’s alcohol-related serious injuries:

1) Hennepin
2) Ramsey
3) St. Louis
4) Anoka
5) Dakota
6) Olmsted
7) Washington
8) Stearns
9) Wright
10) Sherburne
11) Becker
12) Meeker
13) Otter Tail

Extra DWI patrols will continue in the 13 counties through September 2013, as part of a 12-month, federally funded enforcement program.

Agencies in the above counties will use tactics such as electronic message board signs and heavy patrols along specific corridors.

Jean Ryan, DPS Office of Traffic Safety impaired driving coordinator, says that more police presence on roads and education are the major keys to preventing these types of accidents.

“These counties account for a great portion of our drunk driving tragedies and investing in DWI enforcement and education can help prevent impaired driving incidents,” Ryan said.

Officials remind drivers to buckle up, drive at safe speeds and pay attention.