The three-part public service video series distributed by the Office of Traffic Safety, a division of the Minnesota Department of Public Safety, presents the real-life consequences drunk drivers face upon their arrest. The series, entitled "DWI Confessions: Real People. Real Stories," is designed to discourage driving while intoxicated (DWI) by presenting the true testimonials of drivers who have been there.
The second video in the series depicts a young woman whose life has been dramatically altered by her own arrest for drunk driving. The young woman shares several harsh consequences of her unfortunate decision to get behind the wheel while intoxicated. Not only was she forced to endure the humiliation of being arrested and placed in handcuffs — and once at the station, into an orange jumpsuit and sandals — but also the misery of being locked inside a bare cell, where she sat for hours on end with women who picked fights with her and others, and it felt like time stood still.
A young professional, seeking a supervisory position with her company, this young woman faces the embarrassing prospect of driving to work each day in a car that’s been fitted with a device that will not allow the vehicle to start unless she first takes a breathalyzer test. She will also be required to pay for the device herself, and until she can afford its cost — in addition to her fines and other related costs — she will be walking or riding the bus. When she is finally able to drive, her license plate will display a "W," publicly marking her as a repeat DWI offender.
Unfortunately, this young woman is not the only one. She is one among many repeat DWI offenders — and first-time offenders whose blood alcohol concentration (BAC) measured at or above 0.16 at the time of arrest — who are now required to use an ignition interlock to restore their legal driving privileges. Minnesota drivers whose BAC is found to be above 0.08 are considered legally drunk and can face the loss of their licenses for up to a year, in addition to jail time, fines and other costs.
One sobering fact about drunk driving arrests in Minnesota in 2012 is that the average BAC of the 28,418 people arrested for DWI in the state was 0.154, or nearly twice the legal limit. And over 100 people were killed and more than 2,600 injured in alcohol-related crashes during the same year.
Yet, tragedies like these don’t have to happen. By planning a ride with a designated driver or calling someone when you’ve had too much to drink, you can keep yourself and others safe and prevent a DWI arrest. If you see someone else driving drunk, call 911 to report the driver’s behavior, location and license plate number. This simple act can save lives.
If you or your loved one has been injured by a drunk driver, call Schwebel, Goetz & Sieben. Our experienced personal injury attorneys will provide the skilled representation you need to exact justice and receive the monetary compensation you deserve. Call (612) 377-7777 or 1-800-752-4265 (toll-free) today for a free consultation.