Roads in Minnesota’s 13 counties with the highest combined totals of drunk driving traffic deaths and alcohol-related serious injuries will be the focus of increased DWI enforcement starting Nov. 21, according to the Minnesota Department of Public Safety (DPS) Office of Traffic Safety.
Dakota County ranks fifth overall, behind only Hennepin, Ramsey, St. Louis and Anoka counties.
From 2009-11, Dakota County recorded nine alcohol-related deaths and 40 alcohol-related accidents (see attached PDF)—figures the DPS estimates cost the state $14.6 million.
Moreover, Dakota County county saw 6,493 DWI arrests over the same time period.
Extra DWI patrols will continue in the 13 counties through September 2013, as part of a 12-month, federally funded enforcement program.
Minnesota’s Top 13 Dangerous DWI Counties Targeted for Extra DWI Patrols
These 13 counties accounted for nearly half of the state’s drunk driving deaths (160) and more than half of the state’s alcohol-related serious injuries (436) during 2009–2011 (listed in order of most to least dangerous):
- St. Louis
- Otter Tail
New to the 13 counties list are Becker, Meeker and Otter Tail counties; taken off the list from 2012 enforcement are Carver, Rice and Scott counties. The 13 counties are determined by their total number of drunk driving deaths and alcohol-related serious injuries during a three-year period.
Agencies in the 13 counties will use high-visibility enforcement tactics to alert motorists of increased enforcement—including electronic message board signage and heavy patrols along specific corridors.
“These counties account for a great portion of our drunk driving tragedies and investing in DWI enforcement and education can help prevent impaired driving incidents,” said Jean Ryan, DPS Office of Traffic Safety impaired driving coordinator.