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Local Law Enforcement Agencies Record Arrests During December DWI Effort

The Minnesota Department of Public Safety says Dakota County is the fifth most dangerous county in the state for drunken driving.

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Mendota Heights Police made three drunken driving arrests during last month’s statewide Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over DWI enforcement campaign, the Minnesota Department of Public Safety’s Office of Traffic Safety reported Friday.

Inver Grove Heights Police did not record an arrest during the enforcement effort, according to preliminary reports. The Dakota County Sheriff’s Department recorded 18 DWI arrests.

Statewide, more than 2,500 drivers were arrested for impaired driving during last month’s campaign. That compares to 2,600 DWI arrests recorded in December 2011.

Looking at the arrest totals for other Patch cities in Dakota County: Apple Valley, 7; Burnsville, 20; Eagan, 14; Lakeville, 12; and Rosemount, 11.

Here is a portion of the press release from the Office of Traffic Safety announcing the DWI arrest figures:

Minnesota law enforcement agencies arrested 2,551 impaired drivers as part of a statewide Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over DWI enforcement campaign in December, according to Department of Public Safety (DPS) Office of Traffic Safety preliminary reports from 337 reporting agencies.

A similar DWI crackdown in December 2011 resulted in 2,600 DWI arrests.

“Our goal with these campaigns is to educate about the importance of planning a sober ride, and use enforcement for those who decide to get behind the wheel and put the lives of others—and their own—in danger,” said Lt. Eric Roeske, Minnesota State Patrol.

The Minnesota State Patrol reported 544 arrests during the extra enforcement. In the Twin Cities, agencies with the most DWI arrests during the campaign included: St. Paul PD (137); Minneapolis PD (86); Bloomington PD (44); White Bear Lake PD (37); and Brooklyn Park PD (34).

In Greater Minnesota, where 77 percent of the drunk driving deaths occur annually, agencies with the most arrests included: St. Cloud PD (43); Rochester PD (40); Moorhead PD (33); Duluth PD (23); and Red Lake Public Safety-Law Enforcement (23).

The State Patrol reported the highest alcohol-concentration in the state during the December campaign—0.47; the legal limit is 0.08. Twenty-three agencies reported their highest alcohol-concentration in an arrest was at or above 0.30; more than 135 agencies reported their highest alcohol-concentration was at or above 0.20. 

Extra DWI patrols will continue in 2013 on roads in Minnesota’s 13 counties with the highest combined totals of drunk driving traffic deaths and alcohol-related serious injuries. The top 13 most dangerous DWI counties are: 1. Hennepin; 2. Ramsey; 3. St. Louis; 4. Anoka; 5. Dakota; 6. Olmsted; 7. Washington; 8. Stearns; 9. Wright; 10. Sherburne; 11. Becker; 12. Meeker; 13. Otter Tail.

To view all arrests by agency and their highest alcohol-concentration DWI arrest, visit https://dps.mn.gov/divisions/ots/Documents/dec-dwi-results.pdf.

Drunk Driving in Minnesota
In the last five years, 651 people were killed in drunk driving crashes, 111 in 2011 alone. Each year, nearly 30,000 people are arrested for DWI.

DWI Consequences
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.

Prevent Drunk Driving

• Plan for a safe ride — designate a sober driver, use a cab/public transportation, or stay at the location of the celebration. Let family/friends know you are available to offer a safe ride home.

• Buckle up and wear protective motorcycle gear — the best defenses 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.

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