MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Extra law enforcement will be on patrol this weekend, as partygoers celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in the Twin Cities.

The Department of Public Safety said St. Patrick’s Day is historically a dangerous drinking and driving period and they’re especially concerned since this year the holiday falls on a Sunday, meaning it will be a weekend-long celebration.

There have been 11 traffic deaths in the last five years during St. Patrick’s Day — at least two involving a drunk driver, according to the DPS.

Law officials want to remind everyone to plan a sober ride for the weekend. They say the number of people arrested for DWI on St. Patrick’s Day has gone up every year, as the holiday approached the weekend.

In 2008, St. Paddy’s was on a Monday and 165 people were arrested for DWI. In 2012, the holiday fell on a Saturday and 346 people were arrested for DWI.

In the last five years, 651 people were killed in drunk driving crashes — drunk driving deaths account for one-third of the state’s total deaths annually, according to the DPS.

The Metro Transit will be offering free rides on St. Patrick’s Day. Whether you take a bus, the light rail or Northstar, your fare is free.

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