ST. PAUL, Minn. – Minnesota law enforcement agencies arrested 2,453 impaired drivers as part of an enhanced DWI enforcement campaign during Nov. 27-Dec. 31, 2013, according to preliminary DWI arrest information from the Minnesota Department of Public Safety (DPS) Office of Traffic Safety.
Based on preliminary data, there were 24,551 arrested for DWI in Minnesota in 2013. It is anticipated this number will approach 26,000 as data continues coming in and court cases are settled.
“The number of arrests made last month shows that too many of our drivers still make poor choices about drinking and driving,” said Donna Berger, Office of Traffic Safety director. “Our goal with these enhanced enforcement campaigns is to keep our roads safer and encourage drivers to make smarter decisions.”
The arrest numbers reflect statewide DWIs from 347 reporting agencies, including the Minnesota State Patrol, county sheriff’s offices and municipal law enforcement agencies.
The Minnesota State Patrol reported 546 arrests during the extra enforcement.
In the Twin Cities metro area, agencies with the most DWI arrests during the campaign included:
- 86 – Minneapolis PD
- 80 – St. Paul PD
- 44 – Bloomington PD
- 36 – Maple Grove PD
- 31 – Eden Prairie PD
In Greater Minnesota, agencies with the most arrests included:
- 38 – Wright County Sheriff’s Department
- 32 – Duluth PD
- 27 – Carver County Sheriff’s Office
- 24 – Blue Earth County Sheriff’s Department
- 23 – Red Lake Law Enforcement
The west-metro district of the State Patrol reported the highest alcohol-concentration in the state during the campaign – 0.34 – more than four times the legal limit of 0.08. This was followed by 0.33 from Lakes Area Police Department and 0.32 from Crookston, South Lake Minnetonka and St. Paul police departments. Twelve agencies reported their highest alcohol-concentration in an arrest was at or above 0.30.
“DWI Confessions” videos
To highlight the realities of a DWI arrest, DPS has produced online videos – “DWI Confessions” – which feature stories of Minnesotans who have been arrested for DWI and their personal, financial and legal consequences.
The third in this three-part series
is now available on YouTube and highlights the “humiliation” of a Minnesota man’s DWI arrest and how the experience has negatively affected his life.
of the series, released two weeks ago, and Part II
, released last week, also are available on YouTube.
Enhanced DWI Enforcement in 25 Counties
Extra DWI patrols will continue in 25 Minnesota 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 2010-2012):
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 .
A DWI offense can result in loss of license for up to a year, thousands in costs and possible jail time.
Repeat DWI offenders, as well as first-time offenders arrested at 0.16 and above alcohol-concentration level, must use ignition interlock in order to regain legal driving privileges or face at least one year without a driver’s license. Offenders with three or more offenses are required to use interlock for three to six years, or they will never regain driving privileges.
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.
EDITORS NOTE: Broadcast quality files are available for “DWI Confessions” Part I, Part II and Part III.
About the Minnesota Department Public Safety
The Minnesota Department of Public Safety (DPS) comprises 11 divisions where 2,100 employees operate programs in the areas of law enforcement, crime victim assistance, traffic safety, alcohol and gambling, emergency communications, fire safety, pipeline safety, driver licensing, vehicle registration and emergency management. DPS activity is anchored by three core principles: education, enforcement and prevention.
About the Office of Traffic Safety
The Minnesota Department of Public Safety Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) designs, implements and coordinates federally funded traffic safety enforcement and education programs to improve driver behaviors and reduce the deaths and serious injuries that occur on Minnesota roads. OTS also administers state funds for the motorcycle safety program and for the child seats for needy families program.
OTS is an anchoring partner of the state’s Toward Zero Deaths (TZD) traffic safety initiative. A primary vision of the TZD program is to create a safe driving culture in Minnesota in which motorists support a goal of zero road fatalities by practicing and promoting safe and smart driving behavior. TZD focuses on the application of four strategic areas to reduce crashes – education, enforcement, engineering and emergency trauma response.
Office of Traffic Safety Highlights
- 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 DWI enforcement through September 2014.
- In a continuing effort to advance traffic safety in Minnesota, DPS awarded new federal grants totaling more than $8.5 million for regional partners to support overtime traffic safety enforcement and educational efforts through September 2014.
- OTS projects around 395 traffic deaths for 2013 – approximately the same number of traffic deaths that occurred in 2012.
- OTS news archive.
- OTS PSA archive.
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