Minnesota taps 13 counties for stepped-up DWI enforcement

The counties selected for extra enforcement are those with the most deaths and injuries caused by alcohol-related crashes. They include the Twin Cities area plus Duluth, Rochester, and St. Cloud.
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The counties selected for extra enforcement are those with the most deaths and injuries caused by alcohol-related crashes. They include the Twin Cities area plus Duluth, Rochester, and St. Cloud.

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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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The Associated Press reports the extra patrols start Monday in the ten counties with the highest number of unbelted deaths and injuries. More than 850 unbelted deaths and injuries were reported between 2007 and 2009.