By Reg Chapman

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Police are out in force across the metro this New Year’s Eve, trying to prevent end-of-the-year tragedies.

This is one of those nights when people tend to drink a little more than usual and many of them end up behind the wheel.

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Officers are trying to get to those drivers before their bad choice becomes worse.

It’s a big night for party goers and even a bigger night for law enforcement.

While yearly DWI arrests in Minnesota continue to drop, police across the state are asking drivers to arrange a sober ride to drive those numbers down even lower.

“We will be out in numbers,” Trooper Azzahya Williams said.

Minnesota State Troopers are out in full force to help decrease the number of people killed or injured in drunk driving related accidents,

In the past three years, 279 people were killed by drunk drivers in Minnesota, 81 were killed in 2013 alone.

“We’re out here to ensure public safety, and to make sure if you do make a bad decision tonight we can get you off the road before you hurt yourself or someone else,” Williams said.

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Williams says it’s not hard to spot that person who may have had too much to drink on one of the most celebrated nights of the year.

“They might be speeding, or weaving within their lane or weaving lane to lane. Maybe they are tailgating someone or they are making unsafe lane maneuvers,” Williams said.

Trooper Williams believes educating the public and increased enforcement has led to a decrease in the number of DWI arrest.

More than 22,000 people have been arrested for DWI so far in 2014.

The numbers have gone down every year since 2006, when almost 42,000 people were arrested.

The year 2013 saw the lowest numbers of arrest in recent history with 25,719.

“We want people to know they really have the power to stop these drunk driving related tragedies,” Williams said.

The cost of a cab or sober ride does not compare to what you will spend if you get a DWI.

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It can cost as much as $20,000 if you factor in court costs and lawyer fees. And don’t forget you can lose your license for up to a year and maybe do jail time.

Reg Chapman