ST. PAUL, Minn. — 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 the month of 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.”
Minnesota’s Top 25 Dangerous Drunk Driving Counties
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 (2010–2012):
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.
Minnesota Drunk Driving Facts
- 104 people were killed in drunk driving crashes in 2012.
- 2,644 people suffered injuries in alcohol-related crashes in 2012.
- 28,418 people were arrested for DWI in 2012—the average alcohol-concentration was 0.154.
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.
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