Extra DWI patrols on the road in December

You don’t have to have yourself a merry little time in jail if you plan ahead for a sober ride. Law enforcement agencies in Isanti County 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 Isanti County, 2009–2011, drunk driving crashes accounted for 7 deaths and 7 serious injuries. During this same period, 454 motorists were arrested for DWI. In Minnesota during this period, 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 including Cambridge, Isanti, and Braham, Isanti County Sheriff’s Department, and Minnesota State Patrol.

“The holiday celebration season can be a potentially deadly one due to drunk driving,” said Bob Bollenbeck, Isanti TZD Coordinator. “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 safe 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.