MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – State officials will be targeting 13 Minnesota counties over the next year in the crackdown on drunk driving, according to a Minnesota Department of Public Safety report released Friday.

They are the 13 counties with the highest combined totals for DWI arrests and alcohol-related traffic deaths. The list includes Hennepin, Ramsey, Anoka, St. Louis, Dakota, Wright, Olmsted, Rice, Washington, Stearns, Sherburnek, Scott and Carver Counties.

Sherburne County is the only county new to the list as Itasca County was removed in 2011. There were 131 alcohol-related traffic deaths in 2010, the lowest on record. A statewide crackdown on drunk driving in December also resulted in 2,573 arrests for DWI.

From 2008 to 2010, Hennepin County led the state with more than 20,000 DWI arrests and 49 alcohol-related traffic deaths. Anoka, St. Louis and Wright County each had 20 alcohol-related traffic deaths, and Anoka County led that group with more than 5,700 DWI arrests.

Comments (61)
  1. G Dog says:

    Anoka County leads the state in drunk driving.

    It also overwhelmingly voted for Jesse Venture, Michele Bachmann and George W. Bush.

    Coincidence? I think NOT!

    1. Brett says:

      Tell me where Jesse, Michele, and George EVER endorsed drunk driving, EVER.
      Do you want me to re-raise the Teddy Kennedy scandal, all over again?

  2. Haywood Jablome says:

    I’m sure the nay-sayers will be on here soon whining about big brother trying to generate revenue by mercilessly stalking the countryside, violating everyone’s rights. I’d just like to point out that the only reason they’re having these saturations in the listed counties is to enforce DWI laws. Furthermore, the reason MN agencies get these federal dollars is because we are not a “check point” state, i.e. sobriety checkpoints were made illegal by the state supreme court. So when you talk about someone violating your rights, consider the alternative.

    1. Andy says:

      You are right, the DWI money machine generates a ton of revenue. The overspending in the counties in the last ten years has forced counties to do these saturation patrols so they can survive. A lot of money in DWI. Also all these saturation patrols are is a roving check point, which is worse? Violating your rights at a checkpoint which you can avoid, or letting them run around and pull people over with no PC? I’d rather have a checkpoint.

      1. Thurman Merman says:

        Uh huh. I’ve seen your postings on other articles. You love to shoot your mouth off without a clue of what your saying or an actual fact to back it up. First of call, cops don’t need PC to stop your car, merely a reasonable suspicion that a crime is being or has been comitted. Secondly, these saturation patrols don’t have anything to do with the fiscal survival of the county. The counties don’t send enforcement saturations out to make a profit, and believe me, the counties aren’t getting rich. Finally, you’ve got no evidence to back up your claim that police stop vehicles for no reason. If there was, that’s why the courts are at your disposal. Please save your mindless banter, baseless claims, and idiotic utterances for facebook.

        1. All a joke says:

          Increasing targeting is a joke, if they don’t increase the penalties and enforce them. How is it people can get multiple DWI’s?? They should be locked up after 2, and locked up longer with each additional one. Not just weeks/months, but years. 5 DWI’s = 15 years. 10 DWI’s = life in prison. etc. Our system is a broke joke

        2. Andy says:

          Hey Thurman, you’re a sheep and an idiot, two very dangerous combinations. I have manyfriends who work in the county and yes DWI does helps fiscally whether you believe it or not sheep. Sorry, I didn’tmention reasonable supicion. You are probably one of those morons that think a cop can claim reasonable suspicion, then pull a car over completely based ona lie so he could make the stop, which they do often. Reasonable suspicion leaves the judgement solely up to the one with a badge and they constantly lie about because they have no accountability. Except when you record your stop, which I did and beat my DWI because he completely lied about the stop, it happend to be a saturation patrol. Have a nice life sheep. What an idiot.

          1. GH says:

            How would you know these things about police officers Andy? Did you used to be one? Have you ever done a ride along with one? I would love to know where you get your information from. DWI is a serious offense and I think law enforcement should step up their patrols to stops it. Do you know anybody who has died from a drunk driver because I do. Oh wait, this must be another one of those laws that you see as unjust so you don’t have to follow it. I forgot you make up your own rules…idiot

          2. Thurman Merman says:

            Once again, more idiocy from Andy. Obviously, if a county collects any money on a project they don’t have to pay for, they make a profit. I didn’t say it didn’t help, I said the counties weren’t getting rich or “surviving” on the profits of DWI enforcement, which was your claim. Secondly, reasonable suspicion is a legal definition, not some theory cops come up with on a whim. And if reasonable suspicion “leaves the judgement soley up to the one with the badge” as you claim, there would be no court system. You’re too stupid to realize that if there were any truth to your DWI arrest and having it thrown out, you would have proven your earlier comment wrong. Obvioulsy, reasonalble suspicion doesn’t leave the judgement soley on the cop, as the cops have to answer to the courts. The same courts that, supposedly, dismissed your DWI.

            1. Andy says:

              Actually reasonable suspicion does give them discretion and they lie constantly to justify stops, because they have no accountability. A cop could stop you, beat you and then charge you with assault, trust me it happens all the time. Look at what your wonderful thugs with badges did to Kelly Thomas in Fullerton ca. Check out copblock.org and stop being a sheep you idiot. So you would-justify a cop lying about reasonable suspicion and violating someone’s civil rights because we profit from the federal government?! God you’re a moron!

              1. Thurman Merman says:

                Trust you? Trust an infantile conspiracy theorist idiot? No thanks. I prefer to make my own decisions and form my own beliefs based on facts and personal experience, not what some dude told me about this time he got arrested….or what I read on copblock.org. Who’s the sheep? “Woah man I read on copblock.org about this one time when the cops in Fullerton took this dude Kelly Thomas and violated his civil rights…and that’s why MN shouldn’t have DWI enforcement patrols.” Good argument….You know, if enough people tell you you’re an idiot, it’s probably true, Andy.

          3. Thin Blue Line says:

            Andy, you’d think somone who’s as enlightened as you claim to be would also be able to spell or have a grasp of sentence sytax. In reality, you’re one who hides in your mom’s basement, blogging about how worldly and inteligent you are because you’ve been, supposedly, arrested for DWI and, supposedly, beat it in court. In truth, you’re just another miscreant in a long line of law breaking losers who has an axe to grind with government, law enforcement, and institutions in general.

            1. Fat Blue Stripe says:

              You should learn proper punctuation.

              1. Thin Blue Line says:

                Really? Tell me how it’s supposed to be, please.

                1. Fat Blue Stripe says:

                  ****In reality, you’re one who hides in your mom’s basement, blogging about how worldly and inteligent you are because you’ve been, supposedly, arrested for DWI and, supposedly, beat it in court.**** That my friend, is called a run-on. You might want to check your grammar next time, before you point a finger at somebody else that made a mistake. That’s all I’m saying. I agree with the rest of your post.

          4. Andy says:

            A glorified ticket giver weighs in! How’s Brian brammert? I’ll listen to thin blue line because at least he is a real cop

            1. GH says:

              Again Andy…where do you get your facts from?? You can’t ever seem to answer my questions to you. I’m with trooper586. I’m about to have a baby and if your drunk a@s ever touches my car with my baby in it the least of your worries will be the ticket you get for the police. You make me sick you good for nothing waste of space. You said you were a marine> I doubt that! The men and women who serve our country are taught respect and that is something you have none of you 20 something little punk!

              1. Andy says:

                I am 34, don’t ever question my service again. Hey b
                Blue I have a great job and my own home,nice try. Also have 2 babies myself guys. Again gh you show your ignorance, why do people like you think vets have to be these flag flying, defend your freedom at any cost, super patriots? Want the truth? We didn’t care about people like you. We cared about each other and keeping us safe. My info, I told you before. Here is some for you again. Copblock.org, freekeene.com, adamvstheman.com. Actually go to them this time.

                1. Dah losing says:

                  Those arn’t your babies Andy, your old lady thinks you’re a joke like the rest of us.

              2. Gsgt. Hartman says:

                Andy was a marine? That actually makes sense. The marine corps is the navy’s b-squad. They snap up all kinds of unemployed sociopaths, train them, and then society’s stuck with them.

  3. Just something to think about says:

    Hennepin County had more than 20,000 DWI arrests. Taking all of the fines involved when being charged with a DWI into consideration that is well over $50,000,000.00 (gross underestimate) in revenue for the county itself.

    1. Gorilla Math says:

      Not sure how you’re making your calculations, but that isn’t right. By your rationale, each DWI violator would pay, on average, a $2500 fine. There is no possible way. The one I got this year in Hennepin County cost me just over $500. However, if you factor in tow fees, driver’s license reinstatement fees, insurance, and all the other stuff, yeah $2500 per arrest might be accurate. But only a fraction of that goes back to the county…and that’s just if you’re arrested by a deputy. The larges portion of the fine you pay goes to the agency (city,state, or county) who arrested you. The county gets a chunk of every fine, but it goes to cover court costs and admin fees.

      1. Nate says:

        DWI costs can sometimes add up to five figures for the typical repeat offender.

        1. Gorilla Math says:

          Im not arguing that. Did you read the comments? I know the costs get to be high, but Just Something is claiming all of that money goes to the county. When, in reality, a small fraction actually does. But I’m not disputing the costs can exceed $10,000 for repeat offenders.

          1. Nate says:

            Well if those costs weren’t covered by the fines and it all went to the county then somebody else would be paying those costs, guess who… taxpayers. For instance if it goes towards the DA’s salary for hours spent that’s less taxpayer dollars going towards the DA’s salary. $55,000,000 + would be more along the lines of a gross amount in most peoples eyes but however you want to percieve it I don’t think it’s anywhere near an unreasonable guess as to how much money comes out of offenders pockets in a given time period

    2. Fact Checker says:

      What? Where do you see anything about 20k DWI arrests in Hennepin County? According to the DPS website, in 2010, there were just under 30,000 arrested STATE WIDE! You’re claiming 2/3 of all DWI arrests in the entire state happen in Hennepin Co.? No doubt, Hennepin was one of the leaders, if not THE leader, but there’s no way Hennepin had more than 20,000.

      1. DP says:

        I would not wager they don’t there Fact….more law and waaaaay more drunks on roads than anyplace. It’s like shooting ducks at the Fair excpet they don’t have enough PD on the road IMO. I’d welcome a “drunk patrol” doing that and nothing more. It would likely be self supporting and save a lot of lives and property damage ……. and marriages and relationships.

        1. Fact Checker says:

          Oh I agree with the DWI enforcement. I just don’t think that DWI arrests netted $50 million for Hennepin county last year. But I wasn’t coming out against DWI enforcement.

      2. Nate says:

        The fact that you neglected to find was at the end of the article.

  4. Orison Wells says:

    Why stop with DWI sauruation patrols? I think we should develop technology to identify driver using their cell phones. We should go after people who are distracted by lighting cigarettes while driving. And it should be a crime to change radio stations while driving.

    1. Anne says:

      Yeah. Driving drunk=driving while changing the radio station. That’s the same thing. Idiot…….

    2. Hillbilly Hub says:

      And driving down I35 with a Mac and Lg Fry, Coffee, Checking Laptop against Map Book, Calling the guy on my Cell! Whops, better Buckle Up!

  5. Otto says:

    Since when have relevant and correct facts been allowed in the comment section. I come here to read everyone’s fantasies for entertainment

    1. Blog Ref says:

      Yeah true, but the arguments would be much more intelligent and believable if anyone had a clue what they were talking about. If real people are leaving these stupid postings, humanity is doomed…

  6. jean says:


    1. Let's go says:

      I’d volunteer to help if one could be dputized. For free mind you …. I want safe roads and the drunk trash in the tank

    2. K says:

      I hope I hit you when I’m when drunk jean

      1. @K says:

        When I’m when I usually call Ben, so then It’s Klem, Jen and Ben who have Flem! K, You Freak!

      2. cool K, you sooooo cool says:

        Dude – you epitomize the very reason we want every drunk dirtball off the roads. To keep mindless souls inside or behind bars if need be.
        Other I guess we may as well just have Amy S. follow you to make our point. 😉

          1. L says:

            I hope you learn how to spell *too* idiot. Back to 3rd grade….

      3. jean says:

        your a child in a adult’s body with no brain cell from all the pot and alcohol …

      4. jean says:

        K…. is that a threat ….don’t kill anyone you think might be me….this is on record,,, keep drunk driver’s of the road and people who use the drink to kill as a way of murder….LOL dum dum ..K stay at you cave

  7. Andy says:

    That’s hilarious! We may be a dept. of the navy, but were the men’s dept, guess what, you know where a lot of those sociapaths end up? The police forces all over the country!

    1. Uncle Buck says:

      Ha! So I guess Andy and J are the same person. Wonder how many other names you use. But it does explain the huge lack of intelligence on these blogs. You must post a lot. Men’s department, huh? Is that what the marine corps told you? Don’t stop there! How about Copblock.org, freekeene.com, and adamvstheman.com? What did they tell you? Do you have any thoughts or ideas you’ve come up with on your own, or are you one of those “sheep” who buys into everything people hand-feed you?

    2. Stu Pidasso says:

      Yeah right. That’s why every police department in America makes applicants pass a psych evaluation. What sort of screening process do the mermaid marines have?

      A) pulse
      B) trigger finger
      C) ability to take orders and be a follower aka “sheep”

  8. J says:

    That’s hilarious! We may be a dept. of the navy, but were the men’s dept, guess what, you know where a lot of those sociapaths end up? The police forces all over the country!

  9. I see crazy people says:

    Only sociopaths can turn a conversation about bringing on more DWI patrols into an argument about Marine vs. Navy, mention things like their houses, jobs, and children, and question each others age.

    1. I see dead people says:

      Where are they?…..Everywhere! Great movie,eh?

  10. Etan says:

    Only sociopaths can turn a conversation about bringing on more DWI patrols into an argument about Marine vs. Navy, mention things like their houses, jobs, and children, and question each others age.

    I see crazy people.

  11. You're just like the rest of em says:

    Only sociopaths can turn a conversation about bringing on more DWI patrols into an argument about Marine vs. Navy, mention things like their houses, jobs, and children, and question each others age. Do something better with your free time.

  12. CO says:

    Have they ever thought about going after some of the other criminals? Theft, vandalism, drugs, sexual preditors?? Oh that right these people have no money to pay the fines. Or maybe go after the guys that are drunk every day and leave the bar every day at the same time and drive home? Oh thats right they don’t have any money either. The last time I was stolen from the PD didn’t have time to do the paper work. The time I had a few after work and happened to have a headlight out = DWI.
    The typical person who gets a DWI these days although they have done wrong is treated worse than a hard core criminal.
    So why do they TARGET these people rather than the hard core criminal? Its simple. These people pay there fines and go on with life they don’t shoot back.

  13. Sarah says:

    Sadly, the enforcement has turned into a revenue generating activity.

    There’s quite a sizable industry built around this. Look for these people to try and reduce the legal limit to .05 so they can “save more lives”.

  14. G Dog says:

    Marines don’t call navy boys “squids” for nuthin’. Sailors are known for dropping the soap on purpose.

    Semper Fi!

    1. @g says:

      Gdog marines don’t recruit jigs.

  15. RGiddyUp says:

    2010 Mn Deaths: 38,857*
    Alcohol related deaths: 131**
    Wow, sure sounds like a “crisis” to me.

    *MDH Center for Health Statistics
    ** The above article

  16. Ben says:

    I think it is ridiculous for law enforcement to have to focus so much on DWI’s. It’s clearly a revenue pot of gold for the counties. My father was killed by a drunk driver and I’ve been involved in numerous attempts to try and change the way our society tries to correct this huge problem.

    Public transportation is the key to prevent people from drinking and driving. We’re not going to stop people from drinking, but we as a society can help them get home safely. Look at the way our society promotes night life. All the advertisements for alcoholic beverages on TV, all the 2-for-1 specials you hear on the radio for various establishments, college kids, it’s all around us and there has to be a better solution than locking everyone up that drinks and drives.

    If we as a society could come up with some type of mandatory state funded transportation for bars and other establishments that serve liquor, we would get the drunk driver off the road before he has to be arrested or worse… kills someone.

    I don’t have the exact answer, but we need to figure out some type of public transportation system for people to get home safely. The driver that killed my father had no intentions of killing anyone that night. He went out with his friends celebrating a birthday and made the mistake to drive home because there was no other option. This is the most common case for DWI arrests. We need to get to the root of the problem and attack it there.

    Unfortunately, if we help everyone get home safely there will be no one to arrest. That’s millions of dollars the state of MN is losing out on. So, the question needs to be asked… what’s more important? Millions of dollars? Or people like my Dad? When I see articles like this on WCCO, the answer is never my Dad.

    1. So Sorry says:

      May your Father rest in peace.

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