According to the Austin Daily Herald, the Minnesota Department of Public Safety Office of Traffic Safety held a DWI campaign at the end of this summer. During that time, authorities made over 1,600 arrests for alleged driving impairment statewide, an increase from the DPS-OTS campaign that took place over the same period in 2019.
DWI consequences in Minnesota can be harsh. Even for a first offense, you may have to pay a $1,000 fine or serve a 90-day sentence of incarceration. The penalties for repeat offenses can be even more severe, involving fines up to $14,000 and a mandatory minimum prison sentence. More significantly, the DPS-OTS reports that drunk driving is a factor in approximate one out of every four traffic deaths. The DPS-OTS offers some suggestions on how to prevent impaired driving.
Designate a driver
When you go out with a group of people, choose one person who will remain sober throughout the evening and have the responsibility for driving other members of the group home. It is not fair to choose one person as the designated driver every time. Rather, the designation should rotate. Decide this before you go out and make sure the designated driver understands that he or she should not drink anything.
Make a plan
You may be in a situation in which designating a driver is not possible or practical. In this scenario, make alternative plans to avoid driving after drinking. Maybe you could stay overnight at the location of the gathering if it is in a hotel or a person’s home. Perhaps you could call someone for a ride or choose another safe alternative option for transportation. For example, many organizations provide free shuttles during holidays when drunk driving is more common. As with designating a driver, you should decide this before drinking. Knowing the plan ahead of time makes it easier to stick to.