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Blog Archive: January 2019

What's your sober game plan graphic with mixed drinks and popcorn on a football field background

Belichick and McVay have game plans, and so should you

Jan. 31

It’s no fun to sit at home by yourself and watch the Super Bowl. Much better to have a bunch of friends over or go out to a bar or a friend’s house to watch the Big Game. Some snacks, some drinks, some cheering and booing all make for a great day. So don’t spoil it by getting a DWI or, worse, getting into a crash that causes injury or death to you or someone else. Preliminary numbers show that 170 people in Minnesota got DWIs over the 2018 Super Bowl weekend, and impairment was a factor in 119 injury crashes. There’s no need to repeat those statistics...

a semi on a highway with cars behind it

How to share the road with trucks

Jan. 28

A lot of us had trouble with math and physics in school. Some of us didn’t even take physics in the first place. So we wouldn’t necessarily know that, in ideal conditions, an 80,000-pound vehicle traveling at 55 miles per hour needs 335 feet (that’s more than a football field) to stop. Crank the speed up to 65 miles per hour and that truck will need 525 feet to stop. But knowing that can save lives. Why? Because if you pull out in front of that semi on, say, a county highway without giving it enough room, it doesn’t matter how alert that driver is. It doesn’t matter how quick their reflexes are...

A person's hands with chain around their wrists

Because you can’t buy a human being.

Jan. 24

Imagine, for a moment, that you are having trouble providing for your family in your native country. Then imagine that some nice person comes along saying that they run a program just for people like you. They’ll help you pay your way to the U.S., they tell you, so that you can have a better life and send money back to your family. But when you get there, it’s not what you expected. Your passport and most of your possessions are taken away. You’re kept in a house with lots of other immigrants, where you’re forced to perform sexual acts on strangers for 12 hours a day...

Commissioner John Harrington

There’s someone we’d like you to meet …

Jan. 22

The New Year is definitely a time for new beginnings. Maybe you’ve started a new exercise routine. Maybe you plan to start your own business this year. Here at the Department of Public Safety, we’re in the middle of our own new beginning: We have a new commissioner. We’d like to welcome Commissioner John Harrington by telling you a little bit about him. A good way to start is by saying that the man knows his way around public safety and public service: He’s been in law enforcement for 40 years...

A burned out trailer home in Alexandria after a fatal fire cause by careless smoking

Fire deaths: What a difference a year makes

Jan. 17

Sometimes little changes bring big results. Maybe you started plugging the space heater into the wall rather than that power strip in the basement. Perhaps you’re now keeping a coffee can full of wet sand outside for your smoke breaks, rather than tossing your cigarettes in the garden. Or you took the kids to the store to buy a whole bunch of flameless candles and got rid of all your real ones. We’re not exactly sure why Minnesota fire deaths dropped by almost half (47 percent) from 2017 to 2018 – it was probably a combination of factors – but it certainly doesn’t hurt that you and your...

Standard Minnesota driver's license


Jan. 14

If you got your standard Minnesota driver’s license or identification card on or after Oct. 1, 2018, you’ve probably noticed four new words printed on it: “NOT FOR FEDERAL IDENTIFICATION.” Some people have found that a bit daunting, but don’t worry. We’re here to explain what that means. Those words are on your ID because they’re required by federal law — specifically, the REAL ID Act. But, because Minnesota is REAL-ID compliant, you can actually use your standard Minnesota license or ID...

A Minnesota State Patrol Academy graduate’s young son pins on her badge at graduation

Honoring the heart behind the badge

Jan. 7

We know that law enforcement officers put their lives on the line for us every day. Sometimes it’s dealing with an active shooter situation. Sometimes it’s helping a stranded motorist change a tire on the side of a busy freeway. Simply put, policing is a dangerous job. Those who dedicate their lives to law enforcement – including the 11,000 who do so right here in Minnesota – know what they’re getting into. But accepting those risks doesn’t stop them from being human...

Emergency kit items on a table

Eight resolutions to make 2019 the safest year yet

Jan. 3

Let’s see … lose weight, get in shape, spend less time at the office and more time with the kids … almost everyone makes at least one resolution this time of year. Why not put that time-honored tradition to work for your family’s safety? The perks: New Year’s safety resolutions don’t involve going to the gym every day, and it’ll be hard to beat the peace of mind they’ll give you all year long. Need help getting started? No problem. We have eight suggestions for making 2019 your safest year yet...