“Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over”
The Duluth Police Department, St. Louis County Sheriff’s Office, Hermantown Police Department, Proctor Police Department, Floodwood Police Department, UMD Police Department and the Minnesota State Patrol will be partnering in Enhanced DWI patrols to take impaired drivers off the road beginning August 17th, 2012 and running through Labor Day. The campaign is statewide and nationwide. The saturation will feature increased enforcement along select corridors in the Duluth area. Extra law enforcement will be patrolling Duluth roads looking for impaired drivers. Drunk/impaired driving is a serious threat on our roads. This saturation effort is to prevent tragic alcohol-related crashes that account for hundreds of deaths and injuries annually.
Don’t risk driving impaired:
- Drunk driving crashes have killed 650 people in last five years — it’s a serious issue and everyone needs to be responsible to have a plan to avoid a DWI. There are plenty of safe alternatives instead of getting behind the wheel after drinking too much.
- Now is a prime time to take impaired drivers off the road. With warm weather still here and a holiday weekend coming up, there’s an increase in impaired driving activity, and as a result, drunk driving crashes.
- A DWI is a serious crime with serious consequences. It can cost as much as $20,000 when you factor court costs, lawyer fees, insurance and more. You will also lose your license for up to a year, and maybe do jail time.
- This campaign will include seat belt enforcement — remember the state’s primary seat belt law means everybody needs to buckled up, even in the back. Law enforcement can stop a vehicle if anyone in the vehicle is not belted, even passengers.
- Minnesota now has tougher DWI sanctions which include the use of ignition interlock. All repeat offenders [arrested at any level], and first-time offenders arrested at 0.16 and above alcohol-concentration level, must use ignition interlock, or face at least one year without a driver’s license. Those with three or more offenses must use interlock for 3-6 years, or never regain driving privileges. Interlocks are installed in vehicles are require user to provide a breath sample in order for vehicle to start.
- Interlock has many anti-circumvention features — in-car cameras record the tests, rolling re-tests, specific hum/suck patterns. For more, visit MinnesotaIgnitionInterlock.org.
- Interlock important tool — provides for sober driving to improve road safety, and it gives DWI offenders a pathway to legal, sober driving.
- Minnesota alcohol-related deaths lowest on record in 2010 (131 killed). These enforcement programs are helping to prevent alcohol-related crashes. Despite success, drunk driving factors in one-third of the state’s total deaths annually. Still a major problem and we need everyone to make an effort to help us stop this illegal and deadly behavior.
- Everyone has a role to keep our roads safe — and that means never getting behind the wheel impaired. Always plan for a safe ride home before you party, and make sure your friends don’t risk drinking and driving.
- Guys in their 20s are the biggest DWI offenders — the ones who are arrested most often, and of course, killed most often.
- End-of-summer parties all too often include adults providing alcohol to minors. It also means underage drinkers crashing college parties. Those under 21 need to understand that when they are caught behind the wheel and an officer detects any amount of alcohol — the minor will lose their license for up to 30 days. And those that provide alcohol can face serious charges, especially if the person they provided alcohol to crashes or injures someone else.
We are asking for everyone’s help in making 2012 our safest year ever on our area roadways. Have a plan for a safe and sober ride. Impaired driving will continue to be a community concern which may result in serious consequences. Safety begins with you. It is your responsibility to ensure that you are not putting yourself or anyone else at risk.