Mankato Police say Memorial Day Weekend travelers will likely notice an increased police presence.
“As with every Memorial Day, people can expect to see added enforcement and extra patrols out on the roads. We’re definitely cracking down on things such as speed, people wearing seatbelts, the distracted driving with texting and driving and things like that, but certainly also looking for the impaired drivers,” said Mankato Department of Public Safety Commander Matt DuRose.
DuRose is asking drivers to give themselves enough time to get to where they’re going safely and, “Not being in any hurry to get to the lake or get to wherever they’re going, make sure that we’re slowing down, we’re always wearing our seatbelts, and making sure that if we’ve had too much to drink we don’t get behind the wheel this weekend – or any weekend for that matter.”
Temperatures are expected to be in the 90s over the weekend, and since many holiday cookouts or trips to the lake include a beer or two DuRose is cautioning people to watch for heat illness. “It’s definitely a possibility that with the hotter temperatures and alcohol consumption it offers an opportunity for additional problems,” he said. “But people need to be very mindful of that, making sure we’re staying hydrated, get some air conditioning.”
According to the Hazeldon Betty Ford Clinic, Alcohol is a diuretic–meaning that it promotes dehydration–and interferes with your body’s ability to regulate its own temperature. Officials at the treatment center said alcohol also dilates blood vessels, as does warm weather, making people who combine both more susceptible to passing out.
“I wasn’t too long ago that we were still dealing with snow, so I think people are going to want to be outside again – the nice weather is going to have them out there,” DuRose said, “But just being reasonable and being responsible in whatever activities we choose to do this weekend is the best idea.
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is also cautioning people not to drink and boat or swim this weekend. In 2017, there were 12 boating fatalities and 31 non-boating drownings in Minnesota. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that alcohol use is a factor in up to 50 percent of deaths associated with water recreation, and nearly one-third of boating fatalities involve alcohol use.