In Minnesota, even one DWI charge can have a significant impact on someone’s life. A drunk driving conviction can be expensive, and because the public places so much shame on such a charge, it can take a lifetime for someone to live down a DWI incident.
That is why it is important to know that the state has a new tool that law enforcement is using to catch supposed drunk drivers in the Twin Cities area. According to the Star Tribune, there are about 500 video cameras posted around highways that have been leading to DWI arrests.
If you visit the Star Tribune’s website you can see some videos taken by the cameras that show cars veering on the highway or crashing. But apparently watching the videos after the fact is not the point of what’s become a dangerous law enforcement tool.
There are reportedly radio dispatchers who can watch the videos live from their office. They are alerted to potential drunk drivers by others who call 911 after seeing reckless, potentially drunk driving on the roads. If the callers identify their location, then the dispatchers will look at video of the identified area and call officers to respond.
Reports indicate that it is not uncommon for people to use their cell phones to call 911 when they spot a supposed drunk driver. Last year alone, Minnesota police dispatchers received more than 40,000 such calls. With the growing dependence on cell phones and the growing dependence on the highway cameras, you can see how the chance of getting arrested for drunk driving charges is higher than ever.
Source : Star Tribune: “Candid cameras hung for DWIs,” Matt McKinney, 15 Apr. 2011