Minnesota will be conducting its largest DWI enforcement campaign of the year from August 17 to September 3rd.
The inspiration behind the statewide DWI enforcement is the statistics that came out of 2011 that showed 68 percent of the deaths that occurred in DWI-related crashes involved drivers who had blood alcohol concentrations double the .08 limit.
The name of this campaign is “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” and it is the effort of the Minnesota Department of Public Safety Office of Traffic Safety. However, this is a campaign that is also being conducted all over the country.
This campaign will involve law enforcement officers focusing on suspected drunk drivers. Some of these individuals will not be drunk, as a person may be pulled over simply on suspicion of being drunk.
Chief of the State Patrol, Colonel Kevin Daily said that there are half a million Minnesotans with DWIs on their records and that they can vouch that the arrested turned their lives upside down. He stated that the difficult consequences of drunk driving can be avoided by making smart decisions and that starts with planning ahead and ensuring there is a designated driver on-hand.
In a five year period spanning from 2007 to 2011, 651 people were killed in the state in DWI crashes, which accounted for 1/3 of the deaths that happened on Minnesota roads. The most deadly year of the 5 was 2007 with 170 deaths. The least deadly was 2011 with 111 deaths.
Officials say that the reduction in the number of deaths between 2007 and 2011 has a lot to do with motorists making smart choices, ensuing they have a sober ride and paying attention to education campaigns and enhanced enforcement.
In 2011 alone, just over 29,000 people were arrested for DWI in Minnesota. The average offender had a blood alcohol concentration twice the legal limit. One in seven Minnesota drivers have a DWI on their criminal record.
A DWI offense can result in possible jail time, thousands of dollars in costs, and license suspension for up to a year. If a first-time or repeat DWI offender is arrested with a blood alcohol concentration that is .16 and above, then they are required to use an ignition interlock device in order to have driving privileges. The alternative is to lose their license for a year. Offenders with three or more offenses must use the ignition interlock device for 3 to 6 years or their driving privileges will be permanently revoked.
Every year, 40 percent of the DWI-related traffic deaths in Minnesota are committed by repeat offenders.
Drunk Driving Prevention
To avoid an arrest for drunken driving, it is best to not risk it at all. Planning for a safe ride is the best way to avoid suspicion of DWI or to be involved in a DWI crash in which you are the driver. If you cannot arrange for a ride, stay where you are. You also want to make sure you buckle up if you are in a car and wear protective gear if on a motorcycle so you can protect yourself against any drunk drivers on the road.