WDAY: The News Leader

Published August 21, 2011, 09:37 PM

Minnesota Officers Step Up DWI Enforcement

East Grand Forks, MN (WDAY TV) - Minnesota officers want you to know they're out on the roads.

By: Meagan Millage, WDAY

Minnesota officers want you to know they're out on the roads. Enhanced DWI enforcement started Friday and will continue through Labor Day.

Officer Aeisso Schrage - East Grand Forks Police: "Buzzed driving is drunk driving. Just because you've only had a couple doesn't mean you're necessarily capable of driving."

That's what Minnesota officers want drivers to know. Crookston and East Grand Forks police, and the Polk County Sherriff's Deputies are stepping up patrol efforts.

Officer Aeisso Schrage - East Grand Forks Police: "We've got our standard patrol shift and then we have additional officers-- one or two-- that's all they do is traffic and DWI enforcement."

Each year about 30,000 Minnesotans are arrested for DUI. Last year 254 of those arrests were in Polk County. Now through Labor Day weekend officers are stepping up enforcement to ensure safety for all motorists.

Dan Boxley - Motorist: "I'm all for it, I'm a fan of that. Anything to increase public safety is a good thing and anything to keep the drunk drivers off the road or even drivers that are too tired trying to go too far distance. I think it's a great idea."

Norm Swenson - Motorist: "It's ideal. In fact the DWIs and the way they're going right no, I just think its an excellent idea if we can get more on the road, more power to us."

In the past three years Polk County has had 156 DWI arrests and one alcohol-related death. Officers want to keep those numbers down and make sure the roads are safe for everyone during this busy time of year.

Officer Aeisso Schrage - East Grand Forks Police: "If you see something that you think maybe may constitute drunk driving or reckless driving or actually most often we have people that are texting or falling asleep at the wheel and appears to be drunk driving and is just as dangerous. If you witness something like that don't be afraid to call 911."

Labor Day is the holiday with the highest fatality rate per day.