An estimated 1,005 people have been arrested for DWI in Minnesota since the kickoff of a month-long enforcement campaign Nov. 27, according to the Minnesota Department of Public Safety (DPS) Office of Traffic Safety.
Throughout December, state and local law enforcement agencies are working overtime hours during a statewide Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign in an effort to prevent drunk driving tragedies.
“Our first priority is always to educate motorists about the dangers of drunk driving and remind them how important it is to plan ahead for a sober ride,” said Lt. Eric Roeske, Minnesota State Patrol. “Unfortunately, we still have motorists who choose to ignore that message. Enforcement efforts like this are essential in getting these motorists off the road before they cause direct harm to anyone else.”
Roads in Minnesota’s 25 counties with the highest combined totals of drunk driving traffic deaths and alcohol-related serious injuries will be a primary focus for increased enforcement.
Extra DWI patrols will continue in the 25 counties periodically through September 2014, as part of a 12-month, federally funded enforcement program.
These 25 counties accounted for 202 (60 percent) of the state’s drunk driving deaths and 620 (71 percent) of the state’s alcohol-related serious injuries during the last three years (2010-12):
1. Hennepin; 2. Anoka; 3. Ramsey; 4.St. Louis; 5. Dakota; 6. Washington; 7. Olmsted; 8. Otter Tail; 9. Stearns; 10. Wright; 11. Itasca; 12. Cass; 13. Beltrami; 14. Sherburne; 15. Meeker; 16. Crow Wing; 17. Pine; 18. Mille Lacs; 19. Rice; 20. Scott; 21. Becker; 22. Aitkin; 23. Carver; 24. Morrison; 25. Blue Earth.
To view a complete county-by-county list of drunk driving deaths and alcohol-related serious crashes, visit https://dps.mn.gov/divisions/ots/Documents/alc-realted-worst-co-10-12.pdf.
Tips to prevent drunk driving
• Plan for a sober ride. Designate a sober driver, use a cab/public transportation or stay at the location of the celebration.
• Offer to be a designated driver, or be available to pick up a loved one anytime, anywhere.
• Buckle up — the best defense against a drunk driver.
• Report drunk driving. Call 911 when witnessing impaired driving behavior. Be prepared to provide location, license plate number and observed dangerous behavior.