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Alcohol, driving don't mix


A friendly reminder from the Kandiyohi County ATOD (Alcohol Tobacco and Other Drugs) Coalition to not drink and drive.

Alcohol and driving don't mix, especially with winter road conditions. It's a recipe for disaster.

In 2008, Minnesota recorded 163 alcohol-related traffic deaths, which was an all-time low. It's not a statistic to gloat about, though.

According to the Minnesota Department of Public Safety Office of Traffic Safety, alcohol-related crashes accounted for more than one-third of all traffic deaths.

Other disturbing statistics include: of all Minnesota residents, 524,584 have a DWI on record; one in every eight persons in Minnesota with a driving record (including those with licenses revoked, cancelled, etc.) has a DWI; 221,395 (one in 18) have two or more arrests; 103,048 (one in 38) have three or more; and, 1,179 (one in 3,340) have 10 or more.

Here's an overview of the Minnesota drunk driving law, according to the Minnesota Department of Public Safety)

The legal alcohol limit for drivers in Minnesota is 0.08. It is always illegal to drive with an alcohol-concentration level of 0.08 or above. Motorists can be arrested under 0.08 if they demonstrate impaired driving behavior. If a motorist's alcohol-concentration is at 0.08 percent or higher, it is a criminal offense with penalties ranging from misdemeanor to felony. It is also a violation of civil law that triggers automatic driver license revocation for a minimum of 90 days for a first-time offense.

Across the state, officers are cracking down on drunken drivers. The Department of Public Safety encouraged Minnesotans to "give a gift of a safe lift" by offering to be a designated driver for the holidays. DPS says family and friends can make this commitment to safe roads by sending Designated Driver Gift Cards, available at

DPS trumpeted the cards as a "life-saving gift," and critical as holiday weekends historically have a high volume of DWI arrests and impaired driving activity.

We've all heard it repeatedly, but we need to think about the dangers associated with drinking and driving.

Laura Lindeman

Drug Free Grant Coordinator

Kandiyohi County Public Health