13 Minnesota counties targeted in DWI enforcement - Bring Me The News

13 Minnesota counties targeted in DWI enforcement

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Hennepin, Ramsey and 11 other Minnesota counties (below) – where the numbers of drunken-driving deaths and alcohol-related serious injuries are the highest – will have more patrol officers on the roadways Wednesday, traditionally one of the busiest travel days of the year, the Minnesota State Highway Patrol says.

And the patrols will continue through September 2013 as part of a federal program, the Star Tribune reports.

From 2009-2011, there were 344 alcohol-related deaths and 860 serious injuries – and 92,542 DWIs, according to the state.

The worst counties for drunken driving in terms of total numbers of incidents, from 2009-2011:

1. Hennepin
2. Ramsey
3. St. Louis
4. Anoka
5. Dakota
6. Olmsted
7. Washington
8. Stearns
9. Wright
10. Sherburne
11. Becker
12. Meeker
13. Otter Tail

In North Dakota on Wednesday, every sworn highway patrol officer will be on the road, the Forum reports.

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DWI crackdown targets 13 counties

From now through September law enforcers will focus on the counties that in recent years have accounted for nearly half of the alcohol-related deaths on the roads. That includes Hennepin, Ramsey, Anoka, St. Louis, Dakota, Wright, Olmsted, Rice, Washington, Stearns, Sherburne, Scott and Carver.

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The annual late-summer enforcement campaign is yielding fewer drunken-driving arrests this year and the number of fatal crashes involving alcohol is continuing a five-year decline, state officials say. Over the past two weekends, 605 drunken drivers were arrested as part of a statewide DWI enforcement campaign. During a similar summer's-end crackdown last year, there were 1,787 arrests over three weekends culminating on Labor Day.

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Thom Pertler, 47, was booked into the St. Louis County Jail on suspicion of drunken driving Tuesday afternoon. The Duluth News Tribune reports the Carlton County attorney refused to submit to a chemical test of his blood, breath or urine. Pertler has been the county attorney since 2005.