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DWI Crackdown August 21 – Sept. 7

​Six DWIs, five crashes and three injuries per hour on Minnesota roads make for an alarming Labor Day weekend, but that’s the danger motorists face when they get behind the wheel.
More than 300 law enforcement agencies across the state are turning up the heat on drunk drivers, now through Labor Day.

While drunk driving-related deaths have declined by 21 percent since 2010, the number of fatalities on Minnesota roads caused by alcohol continues to be a major concern for law enforcement. Alcohol is the leading cause of fatalities on Minnesota roads with one in four deaths drunk driving-related.                               

“There’s no such thing as being “OK to drive.” You’re either sober or you’re not,” said Donna Berger, Office of Traffic Safety director.  “We encourage everyone to speak up and start the conversation about a sober ride well before going out for the night.”

Higher Fine for Texting While Driving

​Drivers who repeatedly choose texting over safety while behind the wheel risk a higher fine for violating the law beginning August 1. Under the enhanced law, drivers face a $225 fine for second and subsequent violations of the texting while driving law, in addition to the current $50 fine.

In Minnesota, it is illegal for drivers to read, compose or send texts and emails, and access the web while the vehicle is in motion or a part of traffic. That includes sitting at a stoplight or stop sign. It is also illegal for drivers with a permit or provisional driver’s license to use a cell phone while driving, except for emergencies to call 911.


July Speed Enforcement

​More than 300 law enforcement agencies participated in the state’s most recent speed enforcement campaign with officers, deputies and troopers citing 16,410 motorists for unsafe speeds from July 10 - 26; that’s compared with 16,926 speeding tickets during last year’s campaign.

During the campaign, law enforcement across Minnesota witnessed disturbing speeds, one driver speeding at 135 miles per hour. Some of the disturbing behaviors included:

  • A motorist stopped for drunk driving and speeding 100 miles per hour (mph) in Dakota County.
  • Two motorcyclists clocked going 135 mph in a 55 in Olmsted County.
  • A motorcyclist with a suspended license traveling 106 mph in a 65 in Carver County.
  • In Perham, a child was in the back seat, not properly restrained, while the driver was traveling 100 mph. Drug paraphernalia was also found in the vehicle.

Twenty-one agencies cited drivers for traveling 100 mph or more during the 17-day campaign. The top-five speeds reported were:

  • 135 mph – Olmsted County Sheriff
  • 118 mph – State Patrol District 3200 (Thief River Falls)
  • 109 mph – State Patrol District 2900 (Detroit Lakes)
  • 108 mph – Cannon Falls Police Department
  • 108 mph – Fond Du Lac Police Department

Remember: The faster you drive, the harder you crash. Slow down and drive the speed limit.

​Featured Video

Video Description: Car crashes can be horrific, but they are even worse when vehicle speeds increase. On average, 28 people lose their lives and 79 people suffer severe injuries during the three month summer period (June – August) due to unsafe speeds on Minnesota roads.