Illegal or unsafe SPEED is a leading
contributing factor in Mn. fatal crashes
September 13, 2012
ST. PAUL — A statewide Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over DWI enforcement campaign, Aug. 17–Sept. 3, resulted in the arrest of 1,842 impaired drivers, according to Department of Public Safety (DPS) Office of Traffic Safety preliminary reports from 315 reporting agencies.
A similar DWI crackdown to close out summer in 2011 resulted in 1,787 DWI arrests.
Each year, around 30,000 motorists are arrested for DWI in Minnesota. Drunk driving crashes have resulted in 651 deaths during the past five years — 111 in 2011. In 2011, the average DWI offender was arrested with a 0.16 alcohol-concentration level.
“The tragedies and life-changing events as a result of drunk driving can be prevented by smart planning,” says Lt. Eric Roeske of the State Patrol. “It’s our responsibilities as motorists to plan a safe and sober ride to avoid getting behind the wheel after drinking and putting our roads in danger.”
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.
The Minnesota State Patrol reported 343 arrests during the extra enforcement. In the Twin Cities, agencies with the most DWI arrests during the campaign include: St. Paul PD (100); Minneapolis PD (42); Bloomington PD (32); Maplewood PD (24) and Eagan PD (22).
In Greater Minnesota, where 77 percent of the drunk driving deaths occur annually, agencies with the most arrests include: Rochester PD (27); St. Cloud PD (26); Austin PD (17); Beltrami Co. Sheriff (14); and Moorhead PD (13).
Highest alcohol-concentrations for the campaign included: 0.385 (Dodge County Sheriff); 0.38 (State Patrol, east metro and White Bear Lake PD); 0.34 (Douglas County Sheriff); 0.328 (Isanti P.D.); 0.31 (Cottage Grove PD and Minneapolis PD); 0.30 (Mankato PD); and 0.304 (New Prague PD).
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. Let family/friends know you are available to offer a safe ride home.
- Buckle up and wear protective motorcycle gear — the best defenses 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.
About the Office of Traffic Safety
- In September, OTS media campaigns focus on ignition interlock; distracted driving and child passenger safety. National Child Passenger Safety Week is Sept.16–22.
- The annual Toward Zero Deaths conference is in Bloomington, Oct. 22-24.
- 23,285 speeders were ticketed during a July statewide speed campaign.
- OTS issued the 2011 Minnesota Motor Vehicle Crash Facts report, citing 368 traffic deaths for the year, the lowest since 1944 and a 44 percent reduction in deaths from a decade ago.
- More than 4,000 DWI offenders are using ignition interlock to benefit road safety and ensure legal, sober driving.
- Media are encouraged to download and broadcast or place OTS public service announcements to advance road safety.
- Media are encouraged to localize traffic safety news by referencing county-specific crash facts.
Drugged driving is on the scale of drunk driving
Young drivers are particularly at risk for being impacted by drugged driving as supported by data on youth behaviors. Monitoring the Future showed that 30% of high school seniors had driven impaired or had been a passenger of an impaired driver in the two weeks prior to being surveyed. Nearly one quarter (23.2%) of high school seniors said they drove or rode with a driver after he or she used marijuana while 15.8% said they drove or
Which drugs do drugged drivers use?
In a study of seriously injured drivers, 26.9% tested positive for marijuana while 11.6% tested positive for cocaine, and 5.6% tested positive for either methamphetamine or amphetamine. These percentages are far higher than those detected among drivers in the 2007 NHTSA National Roadside Survey (NRS) which found 8.6% of weekend nighttime drivers positive for marijuana, 3.9% positive for cocaine, and 1.3% positive for methamphetamine. The higher statistics from the crash study compared to the NRS random driver sample are clear evidence that drugged driving is a serious threat to highway safety.
Additionally, in a recent British Columbia roadside study of drivers, 10.4% of drivers who provided an oral fluid sample tested positive for at least one drug other than alcohol. Cannabis and cocaine were the most commonly detected illegal substances, with 4.6% of drivers testing positive for each. 0.9% of drivers tested positive for opiates. Amphetamines, methamphetamine and benzodiazepines were detected in less than 1% of drivers.
Of the total number of positive drug tests, cannabis accounted for 49.4%. Cocaine was detected in 29.3% of positive cases while opiates were detected in 14.8%. Cannabis and cocaine was the most common polydrug combination, and accounted for 8.3% of all positive drug cases.
Taken from website Stop Drugged Driving
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