Reporting Susan-Elizabeth Littlefield
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – You may think you’ve heard it before, but troopers say people aren’t really listening.
Lt. Eric Roeske with the State Patrol said Friday that “with over 500 killed in the last five years, drunk driving remains a huge problem.”
So they’re going all out, starting this weekend through Labor Day.
Officers all over the state will be prowling the roads ready to make DWI arrests.
And all Friday night, the Minnesota Department of Public Safety will be live-tweeting DWI arrest activity. The tweets will include the age and gender of offenders, the location of the arrest and the offender’s alcohol-concentration level. You can follow the arrests at @MnDPS_DPS, #onelessdrunkdriver.
This all might seem standard, but for one North Minneapolis family it’s quite personal.
Austin Conley was the baby of the family, and to Destiny Montgomery, his big sister, that’s who he’ll always be.
“I just wanted to help him to succeed, and help him along the way in anyway that I could,” Montgomery said. “It just sucks that he’s not there.”
Photos of Austin are precious, because there will never be any new ones.
“That moment I will never, never forget because there was nothing I could do,” Montgomery said.
That moment happened last October. Her brother, who was in college, had been working at a downtown restaurant when someone who had been drinking made his life shorter than it should have been.
“I surely know she did not think she would hurt anyone that night, but she did,” Montgomery said.
She says her brother loved rap music and had a knack for fixing electronics, something he could have capitalized on.
“He would have owned something,” Montgomery said. “I don’t know what, but he would have had his own business.”
Even though officers have stood behind podiums for years, she says the message is worth hearing again.
“Just for that one [drink]…you might be taking someone out of someone’s life forever,” she said.
You’ve heard that you need a designated driver, but there are a couple of other things officers are pushing for. If a loved one calls, just asks for a ride. And Roeske says if you can’t get a ride, just sleep where you are for the night.