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Tue, Jul 6th, 2010
Posted in Police Reports

ST. PAUL - State Patrol Troopers, County Deputies and City Officers partnered to arrest 125 impaired drivers in June during enhanced DWI patrols in the state's 13 counties with the most alcohol-related deaths and serious injuries, according to the Minnesota Department of Public Safety (DPS).

During the 4th of July holiday weekend, the Minnesota State Patrol preliminary reports 52 DWI arrests and five traffic deaths since Friday, July 2 - all fatalities occurred on Sunday and Monday. During 2007-2009 surrounding the holiday period, there were 18 traffic deaths of which 14 were alcohol-related - and only two of the 11 motorists killed were belted.

Increased DWI enforcement activity will continue throughout the summer in the 13 counties that accounted for more than half of the state's alcohol-related deaths (267) and serious injuries (605) during 2006-2008: Anoka, Dakota, Hennepin, Olmsted, Otter Tail, Ramsey, Rice, St. Louis, Scott, Sherburne, Stearns, Washington and Wright. DPS directs extra enforcement toward the counties with the highest combined number of alcohol-related deaths and serious injuries to have the biggest impact on impaired driving.

"We can expect a greater threat of impaired driving activity in the summertime, and as a result, motorists can expect more DWI enforcement activity," says Capt. Matt Langer of the State Patrol.

Each year in Minnesota, alcohol-related crashes account for more than one-third of the state's total traffic deaths. Last year, 141 people were killed in alcohol-related crashes, an all-time low. In 2009, 32,576 motorists were arrested for DWI - one in seven Minnesota drivers has a DWI on record. DPS also reports that each year 75 percent of drivers killed in crashes that had been drinking were also not buckled up.

During July, August and September in 2007-2009, alcohol-related crashes accounted for 151 deaths, representing 30 percent of all alcohol-related deaths for the three-year period.

For DWI enforcement updates and more, connect with DPS Office of Traffic Safety on Facebook at "MnDPS_OTS-Traffic Safety."

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