This holiday, avoid the twinkling lights of a police carAlexandria police officers will increase DWI patrols throughout December to pre-vent traffic tragedies during the holiday season.
By: , Alexandria Echo Press
Alexandria police officers will increase DWI patrols throughout December to prevent traffic tragedies during the holiday season.
The statewide impaired driving enforcement sweep will cover December – one of the year’s deadliest months for alcohol-related crashes. The effort includes participation from approximately 400 law enforcement agencies across Minnesota.
During the last three years (2005-2007) in December, 41 motorists were killed in alcohol-related crashes and another 10,553 were arrested for DWI. In Minnesota, 505,152 motorists have a DWI – one in eight with a driver’s record. A DWI can cost up to $20,000 when factoring in increased insurance costs, legal and other fees.
“An effective route to stop impaired driving is through extra enforcement,” said Sergeant Larry Dailey of the Alexandria Police Department. “Law enforcement is serious about taking impaired drivers off the road and we need citizens to be serious about planning ahead for safe rides and avoid the repercussions of drinking and driving.”
In the last three years on Minnesota roads, alcohol-related crashes accounted for 553 traffic deaths and 1,253 serious injuries. During this same period 117,764 motorists were arrested for DWI.
In Douglas County during 2005-2007, there were five impaired driving deaths, 41 serious injuries and 769 DWIs. The local economic impact of alcohol-related fatalities was $5,750,000.
Officers will also include seat belt enforcement during the nighttime DWI patrols to minimize risk of death or injury. Of the impaired drivers and their passengers killed in alcohol-related crashes during 2005-2007, 71 percent were not wearing seat belts.
Young adults continue to be the primary violators of impaired driving. From 2005 to 2007, more than 38 percent of DWIs in Douglas County were committed by motorists in their early 20s and those younger than the legal drinking age.
Local law enforcement is encouraging the use of “Designated Driver Gift Certificates,” which can be sent to friends and family via e-mail at www.minnesotasafeadsober.org. The certificates offer a safe ride home for a night out and call for the recipient to return the favor.
Safe and Sober is funded by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and administered by the Department of Public Safety. The program is designed to reduce traffic-related fatalities and serious injuries.