Extra officers are out on this “Blackout Wednesday”, looking for drunk drivers at the start of the long Thanksgiving weekend. Many have stories to tell about encounters with impaired drivers, but few as heartbreaking as Corporal Joe Kalla with the Big Lake Police Department. Kalla was coming home from college one weekend in September 2012 and even though schedule conflicts didn’t allow him to see his mother, “On my way home I received a text from her that said, ‘LOVE YOU XXOO’ in all capital letters. I never had the opportunity to reply to her while she was alive. It was two hours after that phone call, both her and John [her boyfriend] were killed by a drunk driver [while riding their motorcycle].”
In the past five years, 28 people have been killed in drunk-driving crashes on Minnesota roads during the holiday period that’s now under way.