Extra DWI patrols on roads through end of year

(ABC 6 News) – The Minnesota Department of Public Safety (DPS) Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) announced that troopers, deputies and police officers will be participating in a statewide campaign to crack down on impaired drivers through the end of the year.

DPS says extra DWI patrols will be on roads throughout the state looking for drivers who appear impaired, whether by alcohol or other substances.

According to DPS, over the last 5 years, there were more than 12,000 DWI’s from the day before Thanksgiving through Dec. 31.

DPS says driving while impaired by any substance is illegal. It can be from alcohol, THC edibles, illegal drug use, antidepressants, opioids, sleep aids, abuse of prescription medications, and even common over-the-counter drugs.

“The holidays are a busy, but fun time filled with sharing food, laughter and time-honored traditions with our family and friends,” Office of Traffic Safety Director Mike Hanson said. “This should be a time for Minnesotans to take a break from the daily stresses of life. Alcohol may be a part of the celebrating and that’s OK as long as you’re not driving after drinking. The same guidance applies with any substance that can impair your driving, including sleep aids or THC edibles. Drive smart by planning a safe and sober ride.”

DPS data says 385 people have been killed in traffic crashes in 2022 through October, compared to 412 in all of 2021. Of the 385 people killed, 97 have been due to alcohol-related crashes which is 4 fewer than speed-related crashes.

In announcing the start of the campaign, DPS is encouraging Minnesotans to plan a safe ride — whether that’s designating a sober driver, staying at the celebration location or using an alternative option — rather than driving impaired.

Meanwhile, the Iowa State Patrol is reminding Iowa drivers to drive responsibly after recently citing a driver for speeding and charging them with operating while intoxicated (OWI).

In a Facebook post, a trooper shared images showing the driver, just north of Spencer, Iowa, was clocked at a speed of 91 mph with a BAC of .162.