Blog Archive: November 2020

Impaired driving kills the holiday spirit. Extra enforcement now. Drive sober, Drive smart!

Driving smart is the best gift

Nov. 25

The holidays are going to be different this year, that’s for sure. With Minnesota’s pandemic restrictions in place for now, friends and family likely aren’t coming into town to celebrate, and even if they do, you won’t be going out to a bar or restaurant with them to catch up. But no matter where you’re drinking, you still need to plan ahead for a sober ride. The consequences of a DWI are unpleasant at best. You can lose your license for up to a year, and even possibly serve jail time. And that’s not to mention the cost to a first-time DWI offender: about $10,000. Do you have 10 grand just lying...

Flames shooting out of a cooking fire demonstration trailer

How to make sure a fire doesn’t ruin your holiday celebration

Nov. 19

The holidays and the pandemic make strange companions. Perhaps Aunt Belinda isn’t flying in for the festivities this year. Maybe you’ll only be on a video call with your brother’s family across town. But if you’re still planning on cooking a holiday meal, there are some precautions you’ll want to keep in mind. This time of year is the busiest for fires in Minnesota. During the holidays, people are doing more cooking than usual, keeping the cold out by heating their homes with alternate heat sources, and lighting candles for atmosphere or ceremonies. These activities happen to be the three...

Driver and Vehicle Services office in St. Paul

What you will (and won’t) notice with MNDRIVE

Nov. 16

If you’re registering your vehicle online or at your local deputy registrar or driver’s license office, or applying for a new title today, you probably won’t notice a difference from the last time you had such a transaction. But there’s a new vehicle services system working behind the scenes to make sure vehicle services are processed smoothly and efficiently. The Minnesota Department of Public Safety Driver and Vehicle Services division (DPS-DVS) launched a new vehicle services system, Minnesota Drive (MNDRIVE), today. The new system replaces the Minnesota License and Registration...

A fire at Northern Metal Recycling in Becker

The Minnesota Intrastate Mutual Aid Plan: Help when help is needed most

Nov. 12

Fires and emergencies aren’t polite or accommodating. Fires don’t wait for a convenient time to burn. Emergencies don’t stay small as a courtesy to small volunteer fire departments. And even large fire departments face incidents that overwhelm their resources. But that’s what the Minnesota Intrastate Mutual Aid Plan is for. Simply put, intrastate mutual aid is a plan developed by the Minnesota State Fire Chiefs Association (MSFCA) that allows fire departments to help other fire departments...

National Use of Force Data Collection graphic with a squad car

How and why the BCA collects use-of-force data

Nov. 9

We know more about use-of-force incidents here in Minnesota than most other states. For many years, local law enforcement agencies, at the direction of the Minnesota legislature, have provided information about firearms discharge incidents involving peace officers. That’s not the case in many other states. But that is changing. The FBI established its National Use of Force Data Collection in 2018 – a program to gather detailed information about use-of-force incidents at a national level. Although participation is voluntary, Minnesota agencies again became national leaders...

A woman taking notes while talking with a man

DWI Courts: A long-term solution to the drunk driving problem

Nov. 5

If you had a leak in your roof, you might put a bucket underneath it to catch the dripping water. But you certainly wouldn’t call it “fixed.” That would only happen when you actually patch the roof. Until you solved the underlying problem, you’d need a bucket every time it rained – and that’s not an ideal scenario. Addressing the problem of drunk driving in Minnesota poses similar issues. Yes, it’s very important for law enforcement to arrest impaired drivers, with the accompanying fines and sometimes jail time. It helps keep Minnesotans safer by removing the immediate threat of drunk driving...

Damage from a cooking-related fire

A deadly fire can happen to anyone

Nov. 2

You’ve no doubt heard us say it before: Even one death is too many, no matter what the cause. And fire deaths are, more often than not, heartbreakingly preventable. Which is why we’re asking for your help. According to preliminary numbers, there have been 45 fire deaths so far in 2020. In 2019, there were 47 fire deaths, but that was for the whole year. We still have two months to go, and that includes heating season and the holidays. And considering that over a quarter of last year’s fire deaths happened in November and December, it will be essential for all Minnesotans to focus...