Thanksgiving travel and increased DWI enforcement in Minnesota

The Thanksgiving holiday always is associated with family gatherings. It is one of the most traveled holidays of the year. People all across Minnesota hit the roads to spend time with family and friends. With the increase in traffic, comes an increase in law enforcement on Minnesota roads. Local law enforcement and state troopers statewide can be expected to be out in full force throughout the holiday weekend.

Sources indicate that between 2008 and 2010, 1,834 drivers were arrested for driving while impaired during the Thanksgiving holiday travel period, which runs from Wednesday through Sunday each year. While state troopers and local police agencies can be expected to be on the road to enforce the tough Minnesota DWI laws throughout the weekend, law enforcement agencies will also be focusing on other types of traffic violations, including enforcing the state seat belt use law.

All drivers and passengers must wear a seat belt when traveling on Minnesota roads. Law enforcement will be on the lookout this holiday weekend for seat belt and child restraint violations statewide. A spokesman for the Minnesota State Patrol says, “Enforcing seat belt laws and arresting impaired drivers are preventive measures we take to ensure safety on Minnesota roads.”

Minnesota receives federal funding from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that is used to help fund DWI enforcement during the Thanksgiving holiday. Law enforcement uses “saturation patrols,” where extra patrol cars join together in a specific area, during holiday periods to look for alleged traffic violations and potential DWI offenses. This year’s enforcement effort is part of the state’s Toward Zero Traffic Deaths safety program on Minnesota roads.

Minneapolis and St. Paul DWI defense attorneys caution drivers to drive safely through the Thanksgiving holiday. Enjoy the Thanksgiving festivities with family and friends.

Source: Brainerd Dispatch, “Guest Column: Thanksgiving can be deadly,” Sgt. Curt S. Mowers, Nov 18, 2011

He has won jury trial cases in misdemeanor and felony cases and in DWI’s and non-DWI’s. He is a member of the Minnesota Society for Criminal Justice, which only allows the top 50 criminal defense attorneys in the state as members. He is a frequent speaker at CLE’s and is often asked for advice by other defense attorneys across Minnesota.

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