Impaired driving still serious in Minnesota

December 23, 2011 by  

Despite the fact that 2010 marked an all-time low for impaired driving in the Land of 10,000 lakes, authorities say it’s still a big problem.

Alcohol related crashes accounted for about 33 percent of all traffic-related fatalities in Minnesota, so the problem is far from over, according to Karen Schaar, an employee of Olmsted County Public Health. “One third of our traffic deaths are related to drinking and driving,” she said. “We know this is 100 percent preventable.”

On Wednesday, Dec. 7, the Olmsted County Safe Communities Partners put on a DWI awareness event for the students at the University of Minnesota in Rochester. During the event, using a simulator and special goggles, students got to experience not only what driving under the influence is like, but also the punishments for the crime. Flyer printing and other printing services were also utilized to increase students’ awareness about the dangers of driving while intoxicated.

Minnesota State Trooper Thomas White spoke briefly about the event:

“[We’re trying to] make sure that they make the right decisions and don’t destroy their lives or someone else’s because of those [wrong] decisions,” he said.

Similar events have been held for the last several years all across the United States. It’s a lot of work, of course, but statistics suggest that it’s worth the effort. In recent years, DWI statistics have gone down throughout the nation. Law enforcement officials and concerned citizens nationwide hope that all the extra deterrence will help all but eliminate needless deaths on America’s roadways.