If you’ve ever considered getting behind the wheel after a few drinks in Minnesota, you may want to reconsider. Minnesota has recently increased their DWI enforcement through the use of federal grants, and law enforcement is cracking down on offenders.
So far, twelve law enforcement agencies have received grants funded by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) ranging in amount from $160,000 to $200,000. The grant, which will allow agencies to fund salaries for new DWI officers, vehicles, and equipment expenses, is expected to be available to the following agencies for the next four years:
- Anoka County Sheriff’s Office
- City of Lino Lakes Police Division
- Coon Rapids Police Department
- Duluth Police Department
- Edina Police Department
- Hopkins Police Department
- Lakeville Police Department
- Minneapolis Police Department
- New Brighton Police Department
- Olmsted Police Department
- Richfield Police Department
- St. Cloud Police Department.
Law Enforcement on the Lookout for DWI Offenders
Although the number of Minnesota drunk driving arrests has dropped more than 40 percent since 2006, law enforcement is not letting up when it comes to drunk driving arrests. With the new funding provided by the grants, law enforcement officers are keeping a closer watch for drunk drivers now than ever before. In fact, new officers acquired with the help of the grant are required to work duri
ng peak drinking and driving hours as well as holidays, so those who choose to drive intoxicated are not likely to escape detection.
Cops are keeping an eye on the following driving behaviors when patrolling for DWI suspects:
- Erratic braking
- Speeding up and slowing down
- Drifting in lane or weaving between lanes
- Making turns that are unusually wide or sharp
Currently, there are six full-time active DWI officers on the road. By the end of September, all twelve agencies are expected to have officers on duty.
The Consequences of DWI
DWI offenders face punishments including a minimum 1-year license suspension, hefty fines, and possible jail time. Additionally, they may be required to install an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) in order to regain their driving privileges sooner. Those with three or more convictions could be required to keep the IID installed in their vehicle for three to six years if they hope to regain their license.
Need DWI defense in Minnesota? Our firm has over 90 years of combined experience fighting to protect the rights and freedoms of the accused. Call the DWI attorneys at Caplan & Tamburino Law Firm, P.A. to schedule a free consultation.