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In the forecast: a winter blast of extra DWI patrols


Fri, Dec 7th, 2012
Posted in All State of Minnesota

Fillmore County. — You don’t have to have yourself a merry little time in jail if you plan ahead for a sober ride. The Fillmore County Sheriff’s Office along with Chatfield and Preston Police Departments will increase drunk driving enforcement during a statewide and nationwide Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over DWI enforcement effort in December. The campaign is coordinated by the Minnesota Department of Public Safety (DPS) Office of Traffic Safety.

Drunk Driving Facts

In Minnesota from 2009–2011, 344 people were killed in drunk driving crashes. Each year in the state, around 30,000 people are arrested for DWI. DPS officials say enhanced DWI campaigns have helped to reduce drunk driving crashes by 40 percent from a decade ago.

Participating Agencies

The December DWI patrols include participation from many local law enforcement agencies:

“The holiday celebration season can be a potentially deadly one due to drunk driving,” says Sheriff Jensen “Make plans for a safe and sober ride, or face the consequences.”

The Consequences of a DWI

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.

Tips to 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 — 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.

Enhanced DWI enforcement and education campaigns are a component of the state’s Toward Zero Death (TZD) initiative. A primary vision of the TZD program is to create a safe driving culture in Minnesota in which motorists support a goal of zero road fatalities by practicing and promoting safe and smart driving behavior. TZD focuses on the application of four strategic areas to reduce crashes — education, enforcement, engineering and emergency trauma response.

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