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Quiet weekend on area roads, but 12 die around Minnesota

Memorial Day weekend was relatively quiet for law enforcement in Becker County.

Becker County Sheriff Tim Gordon said that there were a couple of arrests for suspicion of DUI, nearly 10 speeding 10 tickets, and seven or eight seat-belt violations.

"It was below normal for a typical holiday weekend," Gordon said.

Several factors helped, Gordon said. He said that cooler weather; especially in regards to water temperatures, cloudy skies, and residents in the Red River Valley still recovering from flooding led to less people showing up in the lakes area.

The Sheriff's Department had extended patrols out on the road to help with the holiday.

"We had a little bit of a speed issue, but other than that, it was pretty manageable," Gordon said.

Within Detroit Lakes, it was relatively quiet.

"I was a pretty normal weekend," said Detroit Lakes Police Chief Kel Keena.

He said that officers reported that activity was slow on Friday night, picked up Saturday night and then calmed down again on Sunday.

One person was arrested on suspicion for DUI within the city.

Keena said that officers wrote 10 citations for seat-belt violations. The Police Department was one of the participants for the national Click or Ticket campaign.

Minnesota State Patrol Trooper Andy Schmidt said that there was a lot of traffic in the multi-county district headquartered in Detroit Lakes, but most accidents were minor. He said that there were four automobile accidents with injuries and five accidents where no injury was reported.

"In that respect, it went pretty well," Schmidt said.

Schmidt said that three people were arrested in alcohol-related incidents.

"It was a pretty good weekend," Schmidt said.

Statewide, at least 12 people died in traffic deaths over the holiday weekend according to preliminary Department of Public Safety reports. Nine of those deaths occurred on Saturday.

Cheri Marti, DPS director of the Office of Traffic Safety said in a news release that the fatalities over the weekend underscore the importance of wearing seat belts.

The mandatory seat belt law strengthens on June 6 as Minnesota becomes a primary seat belt law state. Law enforcement personnel will be able to stop motorists for seat belt violations at that point instead of having to stop them for other reasons, as is the current situation.

The statewide Click It or Ticket campaign runs through May 31.