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Crash in Rochester serves as a reminder of the dangers of drunk driving

Crash in Rochester serves as a reminder of the dangers of drunk driving

Local authorities believe a Byron woman was intoxicated and speeding when she crashed her vehicle near Slatterly Park late Thursday night.

 

The crash happened around 10:45 p.m. at the intersection of 11th Avenue SE and 8 1/2 Street SE. The vehicle went off the road and struck a concrete structure, which prevented the car from going into Bear Creek.

The passenger, identified as Chelsea Jenkins, 22 of Rochester, suffered significant injuries to her head. According the police report, her face went into the windshield. 

Jenkins was transported to a local hospital. Her current condition is unknown.

The driver, identified as Leah Cross, 21 of Byron, was arrested for criminal vehicular operation. A blood sample provided evidence she was over the legal drinking limit, notes the report.

Police say Cross was driving on a suspended license. Court records show she was convicted earlier this year for underage drinking and driving.

DWI crackdown

The crash came on the heels of a statewide campaign to prevent drunk driving. From now until Sept. 7, local law enforcement will join more than 300 agencies across the state in conducting extra DWI patrols.

While drunk driving-related deaths have declined by 21 percent since 2010, the number of fatalities on Minnesota roads caused by alcohol continues to be a major concern for law enforcement. 

According to the state Department of Public Safety, alcohol is the leading cause of fatalities on Minnesota roads with one in four deaths drunk driving-related.     

Drunk driving deaths in Minnesota

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.


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(Cover photo: File / Josh Hallett / Creative Commons)

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