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Do you really need a “night cap”?

Posted in Crime Prevention October 9th, 2008 @ 10:54 am

The Minnesota Department of Public Safety recently released a press release about its September enforcement efforts called “NightCAP” (nighttime concentrated alcohol patrol). The press release said that more than 112 impaired drivers in St. Paul were arrested for DWI – 74 were in five Twin Cities’ metro counties. During the month of September, officers stopped more than 1,999 vehicles and cited more than 583 drivers for traffic and equipment related violations.

NightCAP enforcement targets Minnesota’s fifteen deadliest counties for impaired driving. These counties are Anoka, Beltrami, Blue Earth, Cass, Crow Wing, Dakota, Hennepin, Olmsted, Ramsey, Rice, St. Louis, Sherburne, Stearns, Washington and Wright. Why these counties? Because during 2004 through 2006 these counties accounted for more than half of the state’s alcohol related deaths at 272 and serious injuries at 762.

In fact, in August of this year, NightCAP generated 202 DWI arrest. In the Twin Cities metro area, there were 128 arrests. During August, more than 3,598 vehicles were stopped and 1,159 drivers were cited for traffic and equipment related violations. Historically, August is one of the deadliest months for alcohol-related crashes.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration funds NightCAP and coordinates with the Minnesota Department of Public Safety Office of Traffic Safety and the Minnesota State Patrol. The program uses city, county and state law enforcement agencies to saturate specific roadways where impaired driving is likely.

With this type of “night cap” enforcement, drivers and the public can feel safe on the highways.

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