14 arrests stem from Toward Zero Deaths patrols

Published 10:30 am Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Mower County and Austin law enforcement worked 84 Toward Zero Deaths enforcement hours and made 164 traffic stops over the last enforcement period of summer.

Law enforcement made 14 overall DWI arrests during the Aug. 19 to Sept. 5 enforcement period, two of which were made by officers on TZD time.

TZD aims to create a safe driving culture through promoting safe and smart driving behavior.

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Freeborn County made nine arrests for DWIs during the period.

Over the period, Mower law enforcement made arrests for: three seatbelt violations, eight speeding citations, one underage drinking and driving citation, and five revocation offenses.

Though education, enhanced enforcement and awareness are causing more motorists to drive sober, too many drivers are still driving drunk, according to the Minnesota Department of Safety.

The number of yearly drunk-driving fatalities has decreased since 2010 from 112 in that year to 88 in 2014, however, there was an uptick in 2015 to 95.

The Department of Public Safety advises motorists to plan for a safe ride, use seatbelts and report drunk driving to prevent drunk driving fatalities.

Motorists who are convicted of DWI face the loss of their license for a year, thousands of dollars in fines and other costs, and possible jail time. Repeat offenders and first-time offenders arrested at a 0.16 blood-alcohol level and above must use ignition interlock to regain legal driving privileges, or have their license suspended for a year.

Offenders with three or more offenses are required to use interlock for three to six years to receive their license back.

The Toward Zero Deaths program focuses on education, enforcement, engineering and medical and trauma response to reduce crashes, the press release stated.

Drunk-driving fatalities since 2010

2010: 112

2011: 103

2012: 95

2013: 81

2014: 88

2015: 95, an 8 percent increase from 2014