Home Local News STURGIS RALLY SETS RECORDS

STURGIS RALLY SETS RECORDS

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Thousands of motorcycle riders are headed home after the conclusion of the week long Sturgis Motorcycle Rally on Sunday.

Officials with the South Dakota Highway Patrol say it was the busiest they’ve ever been at the annual Black Hills event.

Around a million people are estimated to have attended Sturgis, an all time record.

The patrol says 13 people died at the rally, compared to 4 last year.

There actually was a decrease in drunken driving arrests, despite the bigger crowds, with 220 compared to 257 the previous year.

Highway Patrol Captain Kevin Karley says the fewer DUI arrests are in part connected to a sharp increase in traffic accidents.

Karley says when troopers have to spend more resources responding to accidents, they can’t dedicate as much time to patrolling the area.

There were 152 injury accidents, compared to 69 in 2014.

Non-injury accidents totalled 81 to 49 the previous year.

Karley says the increased law enforcement presence this year and the availability of shuttles also mean fewer people are likely driving under the influence.