A statewide campaign has launched across Minnesota targeting impaired drivers over the holiday season.

Troopers, deputies and police officers will be participating in the initiative through to New Year’s Eve, looking for drivers who appear impaired, whether by alcohol or other substances.

The Minnesota Department of Public Safety Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) is coordinating the enforcement, education and awareness ​campaign with funding from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

“The holidays are a busy but fun time filled with sharing food, laughter and time-honored traditions with our family and friends,” said OTS Director Mike Hanson.

“This should be a time for Minnesotans to take a break from the daily stresses of life. Alcohol may be a part of the celebrating and that’s OK as long as you’re not driving after drinking. The same guidance applies with any substance that can impair your driving, including sleep aids or THC edibles. Drive smart by planning a safe and sober ride.”

Drugged driving accounted for 15,747 DWI incidents from 2017-2021, compared with 6,941 DWI incidents from 2012-2016 – a 227 per cent increase, according to the Minnesota Department of Public Safety.

Meanwhile there have been 620 drunk driving-related traffic deaths in Minnesota in the last five years.