Law enforcement stepping up DWI enforcement for the holidays
Drivers can expect to see more patrol officers on the streets beginning Wednesday and running on weekends through Jan. 2. The enforcement is part of a statewide effort with officers from more than 300 agencies participating.
"Most people think about a sober ride home when making their New Year's plans, but statistics show motorists need to pay just as much attention to other holidays," says a news release from the sheriff's office.
The percentage of drunk driving-related deaths compared with total traffic fatalities is significantly higher than other holidays, according to numbers from 2010-14:
- Thanksgiving: 53.8 percent
- Christmas: 46.2 percent
- Fourth of July: 30 percent
- Memorial Day: 27.3 percent
- Labor Day: 16.7 percent
- New Year's Day: 12.5 percent
In 2014, 674 DWIs were issued to motorists in Olmsted County. Over the last three years, eight drunk driving traffic deaths have been reported in the county.
Here's a reminder of the consequences for DWI in Minnesota:
- Loss of license for up to a year, thousands of dollars 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
Click here for more information on the risks of drunk driving.