The Minnesota State Patrol announced on Friday that there will be increased DWI enforcement through September 2012 in 13 counties statewide, including the metro area counties of Hennepin, Ramsey, Anoka, Dakota, Wright, Washington, Sherburne, Scott, and Carver. This announcement is part of a federally-funded program in place from October 2011 to September 2012.
Notably, the press release contains a “13 Targeted Counties” Fact Sheet, indicating the number of DWI arrests and serious alcohol-related accidents in these counties from 2008 to 2010. The data on alcohol-related accidents can be misleading because the Department of Public Safety counts any incident where there is an alcohol concentration of 0.01 or more for any driver or non-occupant of the vehicle, such as a pedestrian or bicyclist. Thus, these statistics tend to overstate the actual effect of impaired driving.