You don’t have to have yourself a merry little time in jail if you plan ahead for a sober ride. East Grand Forks Police, Crookston Police and the Polk County Sheriff’s Office in December are increasing drunk driving enforcement during a statewide and nationwide Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over DWI enforcement effort.
The campaign is coordinated by the Minnesota Department of Public Safety (DPS) Office of Traffic Safety.
Drunk Driving Facts
In Polk County from 2009–11, drunk driving crashes accounted for five deaths and three serious injuries. During this same period in Polk County, 756 motorists were arrested for DWI.
The consequences of a DWI
A DWI offense can result in loss of license for up to a year, thousands 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.
Tips to Prevent Drunk Driving
• Plan for a safe ride — designate a sober driver, use a cab/public transportation, or stay at the location of the celebration. Let family/friends know you are available to offer a safe ride home.
• Buckle — the best defenses against a drunk driver.
• Report drunk driving — call 911 when witnessing impaired driving behavior. Be prepared to provide location, license plate number and observed dangerous behavior.
Enhanced DWI enforcement and education campaigns are a component of the state’s Toward Zero Death (TZD) initiative. A primary vision of the TZD program is to create a safe driving culture in Minnesota in which motorists support a goal of zero road fatalities by practicing and promoting safe and smart driving behavior. TZD focuses on the application of four strategic areas to reduce crashes — education, enforcement, engineering and emergency trauma response.