Minnesota law enforcement agencies worked with the Department of Public Safety Office of Traffic Safety (DPS-OTS) during the 2017 winter holidays to crack down on impaired driving. In an effort to decrease the number of deaths and create a safe environment for all on the state's roads, agencies boosted enforcement efforts during the period of November 22nd through December 31st.
The effort yielded an increase in DWI arrests from 2,407 in 2016 to 2,656 in 2017. Incidents highlighting the need for extra enforcement involved impaired driving with children in the car, driving drunk to court appearances, traveling at high speeds while severely impaired, and multiple arrests of a single driver over a period of less than six weeks.
These drivers endangered themselves and others, sometimes including their own friends and family, by getting behind the wheel while drunk or otherwise impaired. In some cases, impaired driving caused serious errors in judgement, potentially deadly accidents and multiple arrests of the same driver. DWI convictions can cause drivers to temporarily or permanently lose their licenses. The Minnesota Interlock Device Program also requires, for a specified time period, drivers with prior DWI convictions or first-time offenders with a blood alcohol content of .16 or higher to breathe into a device before starting their vehicles.
The ability to drive can have a major impact on Minnesotans' livelihoods and social lives. It's worth the small investment in time and/or money to arrange a ride when drinking is a possibility. With public transportation and ride-sharing services available, there's no excuse for driving while impaired. While last-minute happy-hour invitations and other spontaneous gatherings involving drinking are common, calling a cab or allowing an hour per drink for alcohol to metabolize can prevent costly or even life-threatening consequences.
Whether you'll be watching the big game in person or cheering the Vikings on at a friend's house or your favorite watering hole, avoid becoming like the drivers arrested in last year's holiday law-enforcement efforts. With throngs of visitors coming to the city from around the world, the streets will be packed with football fans. Ensure your safety by arranging well in advance to ride with a sober driver.
If you or a loved one has been the victim of a drunk-driving incident or other type of accident, the experienced personal injury attorneys at the Minneapolis law firm of Schwebel, Goetz & Sieben can help you get your life back on track. Call 612-377-7777 or toll free at 1-800-752-4265 for a free consultation.