Extra DWI enforcement through Sept. 2

Published 10:10 am Saturday, August 17, 2019

​ST. PAUL — Crashes involving alcohol continue to change lives forever, contributing to 84 deaths in Minnesota in 2018, the most since 2015, according to the Minnesota Department of Public Safety.

Drunk driving-related deaths increase significantly in the summer months. From 2014-2018, 127 people lost their lives in drunk driving-related crashes from June through August. While drunk driving continues to be a leading factor in traffic fatalities, there were also 481 alcohol-related serious injuries during the same timeframe.

That’s why officers, deputies and troopers from more than 300 agencies, including the Austin Police Department and Mower County Sheriff’s Office, will be working extra DWI enforcement shifts starting Aug. 16 and running through Sept. 2.

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The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration provides the overtime funds and the Minnesota Department of Public Safety Office of Traffic Safety coordinates the extra enforcement and education effort.

“We want people to understand that a DWI arrest is not only embarrassing, it’s a dangerous behavior that can cost someone their life,” said Mike Hanson, Office of Traffic Safety director. “It’s so frustrating because each of the 84 drunk driving-related deaths last year was preventable. It continues to baffle me why people choose to get behind the wheel after drinking when there are so many choices to get a sober ride. Let’s commit to making our roads safer by always lining up a sober ride.”