December effort nets DWI arrestsPublished 9:45am Wednesday, December 19, 2012
ST. PAUL — Minnesota’s Department of Public Safety says about 1,300 people have been arrested for driving while intoxicated so far in December.
State law enforcement agencies are working overtime hours this month as part of a campaign to prevent drunken driving tragedies. That’s accompanied by a statewide advertising campaign to notify Minnesotans of the added patrols.
In the previous three Decembers, 28 people total were killed in crashes caused by drunk drivers. In all, over the last five years, 651 people were killed in such crashes.
The Department of Public Safety urges Minnesotans to plan ahead on nights where drinking will be involved by designating a sober driver or using public transportation. They also ask people to report suspected drunk drivers by calling 911, and to take precautionary measures by buckling up.
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.