Driving into a garage, hitting a squad car and two drunk drivers in one vehicle highlight some of the dangerous incidents during the extra holiday DWI enforcement period. More than 300 law enforcement agencies participated in the extra enforcement campaign around Minnesota on weekends and holidays from Nov. 23-Dec. 30, according to the Minnesota Department of Public Safety Office of Traffic Safety (DPS-OTS).
Officers, deputies and troopers arrested 2,407 drivers for DWI; that’s compared with 2,502 DWI during last year’s holiday period campaign.
There were also 1,647 seat belt citations compared with 2,095 citations in 2015. During the campaign, 11 agencies reported a BAC of .30 or higher.
The enhanced enforcement and education efforts are coordinated through the Minnesota Department of Public Safety Office of Traffic Safety with overtime paid using funds from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
• Loss of license for up to a year, thousands of dollars 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.
• Speak Up – Offer to be a designated driver, or be available to pick up a loved one anytime and anywhere.
• Buckle up –The best defense 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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