DWI crackdown leads to 21 arrestsThe Alexandria Police Department and Douglas County Sheriff’s Office arrested 21 impaired drivers during the Minnesota Department of Public Safety (DPS) statewide December-long impaired driving enforcement campaign.
The Alexandria Police Department and Douglas County Sheriff’s Office arrested 21 impaired drivers during the Minnesota Department of Public Safety (DPS) statewide December-long impaired driving enforcement campaign.
Around 400 Minnesota law enforcement agencies participated in the effort.
A DWI can result in the loss of a driver’s license for at least 90 days and cost up to $20,000 when factoring in increased insurance costs, legal and other fees.
There are more than one-half million Minnesotans with a DWI on record – translating to one in eight Minnesota drivers with a DWI.
During 2006-2008 in Douglas County, 823 were arrested for DWI.
During the campaign, seven seat belt citations were also issued. Each year, around 75 percent of impaired drivers killed in crashes are also not belted.
During 2006-2008 in Douglas County, there were four alcohol-related deaths, of which two were unbelted. Statewide during this same period, there were 394 alcohol-related deaths, of which 256 were unbelted.
Both agencies report the primary seat belt law was an important tool in DWI enforcement. Stops for the primary belt law resulted in several DWI arrests.
The primary seat belt law became effective in June 2009. Drivers and passengers in any seat, even in the back, must be belted or in the correct child restraint.
Law enforcement will stop and ticket motorists and passengers for belt violations. Belt fines are more than $100.
“DWI and seat belt enforcement are critical to traffic safety and we’ll continue these enhanced patrols throughout the new year to change driver behavior and establish safer roads,” said Sergeant Kevin Guenther of the Alexandria Police Department.
“We count on motorists to be our partner in this effort by having a plan for a safe and sober ride, buckling up and always insisting your passengers are belted, too,” said Deputy Brandon Chaffins of the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office.
In the last three years on Minnesota roads, alcohol-related crashes accounted for 519 traffic deaths and 1,159 serious injuries. During this same period 116,515 motorists were arrested for DWI.
In Douglas County during 2006-2008, there were four impaired driving deaths and 39 serious injuries. The local economic impact of alcohol-related fatalities was $4.62 million.
The DWI enforcement is funded by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and administered by the Department of Public Safety. The campaign is a component of the state’s cornerstone traffic safety platform, Toward Zero Deaths (TZD).
TZD uses a multidisciplinary approach to reduce crashes, fatalities and injuries through enhanced enforcement, improved engineering, educational outreach and efficient emergency trauma response.