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Increased DWI Patrols to Target Minnesota's 13 Worst Counties

On Friday, law enforcement officials announced they would be stepping up patrols to catch individuals who are driving while intoxicated (DWI) in 13 Minnesota counties. According to the Minnesota Department of Public Safety, the counties were collectively responsible for more than half of the Minnesota's alcohol-related deaths and serious injuries between 2008 and 2010.

Residents in Minneapolis and St. Paul may not be surprised to learn that Hennepin and Ramsey Counties top the list. If you're going to have a drink and get behind the wheel, you should be prepared to call an experienced Twin Cities DUI defense lawyer.

The thirteen counties targeted for enhanced enforcement are as follows:

  • Hennepin
  • Ramsey
  • Anoka
  • St. Louis
  • Dakota
  • Wright
  • Olmstead
  • Rice
  • Washington
  • Stearns
  • Sherburne
  • Scott
  • Carver

Despite a decrease in alcohol-related fatalities in the past couple of years and last year's total being the lowest on record, law enforcement does not want to let up. DUI related vehicular homicides are still responsible for one-third of all traffic fatalities in Minnesota.

The increased patrols, which began in October, are already showing results. In December, police and other law enforcement officers arrested 2,573 motorists for driving under the influence (DUI).

People arrested for DUI or DWI may lose their driver's license for up to a year as well as heavy fines, increased insurance rates and even jail time. People may face harsher penalties if they are repeat offenders. Individuals with blood alcohol concentrations (BACs) of .16 or higher may be charged with a felony and will have to use an ignition interlock device for at least a year to avoid a one-year suspension of their license.

The patrols, which are part of a federal funded program targeting drunk driving, will continue through the end of September 2012.

Source: www.dps.mn.gov, "Added DWI Patrols Target 13 Counties in 2012" 27 January 2012, Nathan Bowie

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