Tricounty News

DWI has consequences

The holidays are a popular time for parties. The Wright County Sheriff’s Office is putting extra DWI enforcement on during this time to prevent drunk driving crashes.

The Minnesota Department of Public Safety Office of Traffic Safety is coordinating the enforcement effort. Extra DWI enforcement will continue through December.

“Enforcing seat belt laws and arresting impaired drivers are preventive measures we take to ensure safety on Minnesota roads,” says Sheriff Joe Hagerty. “Seat belts and designated drivers must be on the menu to ensure travel safety during the holidays.”

The Wright County Sheriff’s Office asks motorists to follow these traffic safety tips to ensure safe Holiday Travel.

Buckle up

Plan for enough travel time to avoid the urge to speed - the posted speed is the speed limit.

Pay attention. The holidays are one of the busiest travel periods of the year.

If you plan on drinking, plan for a safe and sober ride home.

DWI consequences

A DWI offense can result in loss of license for up to a year, thousands 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 sober 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.

Extra DWI enforcement and education campaigns are a component of the Department of Public Safety Office of Traffic Safety Toward Zero Deaths traffic safety initiative. A primary vision of the TZD program is to create a safe driving culture in Minnesota in which motorists support a goal of zero road fatalities by practicing and promoting safe and smart driving behavior. TZD focuses on the application of four strategic areas to reduce crashes - education, enforcement, engineering and emergency trauma response.