Our impaired driving campaign showed up on billboards and in the newspapers last week! “Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving” supports the efforts of law enforcement to help keep us safe as we travel during this time of year.
Holiday parties and family gatherings can create special memories, but for some, the memories are painful after losing a loved one to a drunk driver. The Kanabec County Sheriffs Department and the MN State Patrol are conducting extra DWI enforcement to keep motorists and memories safe this holiday season. The extra enforcement campaign runs on weekends through December 27.
No Holiday Cheer with Impaired Driving
A person is more likely to die in an alcohol-related crash during the holidays than at any other time of the year. Forty percent of traffic deaths during the holidays involve an impaired driver according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.
In the last three years (2011–2013), there were 279 drunk driving-related traffic deaths in Minnesota and 81 people were killed in 2013 alone. In addition there were 844 alcohol-related serious injuries and 83,958 DWI arrests in the last three years.
- Loss of license for up to a year, thousands of dollars 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, or they will never regain driving privileges.
Tips to Prevent Drunk Driving
- Plan for a safe ride – designate a sober driver, use a cab/public transportation or stay at the location of the celebration.
- Offer to be a designated driver, or be available to pick up a loved one anytime, anywhere.
- Buckle up – the best defense against a drunk driver.
- Report drunk driving – call 911 when witnessing impaired driving behavior. Be prepared to provide location, license plate number and observed dangerous behavior.
- Driving While Impaired (DWI) is a violation for driving under the influence of alcohol.
- Alcohol-related: any evidence of alcohol detected in a driver, pedestrian or bicyclist.
- Impaired-related: any driver, pedestrian or bicyclist with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or above.
- Drunk-driving-related: any driver with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or above.