Ask a trooper


From: Sgt. Jacalyn Sticha

Minnesota State Patrol

Did you know?

Impaired driving remains a serious problem in Minnesota and across the nation. In 2010, there were 411 crash fatalities and 131 of these fatalities were from alcohol-related crashes. The National Safety Council estimates, conservatively, that the cost of alcohol related crashes, for Minnesota in 2010, to be $239 million. This is a cost we all share. Ultimately, and more importantly, the death and injury toll due to impaired driving is intolerable. Our goal must move TOWARD ZERO DEATHS.

Did you know that in July, 2010, 53 people were killed and 2,839 were injured in crashes, making it the deadliest month? December 2010 ranks tenth, with 23 people killed and 2,936 injured.

Did you know in 2010 that motorists aged 15-34 accounted for 38 percent of all crash fatalities and for 55 percent of the deaths due to alcohol-related crashes? Our youth take more risks as drivers and are more inexperienced than the older population.

Did you know it is also the drinkers themselves who are more likely to pay the price for their dangerous behavior? Last year, 95 of the 131 alcohol related deaths were themselves the people whose drinking behavior caused the crash to be classified as an alcohol related crash. Of these fatalities, 116 were tested for alcohol and 83 percent were above the 0.08 BAC (blood/alcohol content).

Did you know fatal alcohol crashes usually involve just one vehicle? Seventy-six percent (86) of the alcohol related crashes were single vehicle crashes and of those, 28 of the vehicles hit fixed objects and 44 lost control and overturned.

Did you know, again in 2010, there were 29,918 impaired driving incidents on record and 22,153 ended in a criminal conviction? These convictions range from DWI, not-a-drop to Criminal Vehicular Operation. Impaired driving incidents increase through the week. If we start with Monday, approximately two-thirds of the impaired driving incidents occur on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Did you know about 60 percent of violators had no previous alcohol incidents on record, leaving 40 percent with a prior? Interestingly, about half of violators who had a second alcohol incident on record will go on to have a third, half of the violators who have a third alcohol related incident will go on to have a fourth, and so on.


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