On any given day in Minnesota, law enforcement agencies seek to make traffic stops, hoping to enforce Minnesota’s driving while impaired laws. Most drivers here in Minnesota are accustomed to increased DWI enforcement details surrounding holiday periods.
However, the Minnesota Department of Public Safety plans not only to increase DWI patrols around specified holidays. The state agency says that 13 counties in the state have been targeted for increased DWI patrols that will operate through September.
The Department of Public Safety reportedly identified the 13 counties based upon alcohol related deaths and overall DWI arrests during the time frame bracketed by 2008 and 2010. Minnesota DPS says the 13 counties saw 65,000 DWI arrests and 202 fatalities between 2008 and 2010. The state’s most populated counties that cover Minneapolis and St. Paul–Hennepin and Ramsey–are included on the list of counties that will see increased DWI patrols this year.
DPS says the list of counties remains substantially the same as those that made the list last year, with one exception. Itasca County in Northern Minnesota was dropped from the 13 county list and replaced with Sherburne County, which is based in Elk River and extends to roughly St. Cloud. Stearns County, whose county seat is St. Cloud, is also on the list. The remaining counties include Anoka, St. Louis, Dakota, Wright, Olmsted, Rice, Washington, Scott and Carver counties in Minnesota.
Between 2008 and 2010, Hennepin County saw the highest number of DWI arrests of all counties in the state. The Minnesota DPS says more than 20,000 drivers were arrested on suspicion of DWI during the three year period in Hennepin County.
Source: My Fox 9 Twin Cities, “Heavy DWI Patrols in Suspect Minnesota Counties,” Scott Wasserman, Jan. 29, 2012