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Law busts 1,842 for drunken driving during statewide campaign

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ST. PAUL -- Law enforcement officers from 315 agencies arrested a total of 1,842 impaired drivers during the statewide Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over DWI enforcement campaign from Aug. 17 to Sept. 3, according to Department of Public Safety Office of Traffic Safety preliminary reports.

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According to the report, officers from the Willmar Police Department arrested 9 drivers and the Kandiyohi County Sheriff's office arrested seven drivers during the campaign.

The Swift County Sheriff's Office and Montevideo Police Department each netted three drunken drivers and the Yellow Medicine County Sheriff's office arrested two drivers.

The sheriff's offices from Lac qui Parle, Renville and Pope counties, along with the Benson and Granite Falls police departments, arrested one drunk driver each. Also participating in the campaign were the Meeker and Chippewa County Sheriff's Offices.

State Patrol Troopers in District 26 arrested 35 impaired drivers during the period. In total, the Patrol reported 343 arrests during the extra enforcement.

A similar crackdown to close out summer in 2011 resulted in 1,787 drunken driving 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, which is twice the legal limit of 0.08.

"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."

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