Updated: 08/18/2014 6:19 PM
Created: 08/18/2014 4:35 PM WDIO.com
By: Briggs LeSavage
Heightened DWI enforcement will hit Minnesota roads through September 1 as part of the Toward Zero Deaths initiative, and officers said Monday they hope one young man's story will hit home with local drivers.
Alex Balluff was 18 when he was struck by a hit-and-run impaired driver on Oct. 31, 2009 in Duluth. Today, he suffers traumatic brain injuries. Officers are planing to hand out informational cards during daily saturations around the college campuses during move-in week August 25-29.
The cards highlight impaired driving's dangers and share Balluff's story on the back. Balluff hopes they'll serve as a reminder to drivers.
"Driving impaired is not an accident. It's a choice with life-long consequences for all involved," Balluff said.
Lt. Chad Nagorski with the Duluth Police Department said St. Louis County remains the 4th deadliest county in Minnesota when it comes to alcohol-related crashes.
Officers said last year, 26,000 Minnesotans were arrested for DWIs --that's nearly one in every seven of the state's license drivers. Nagorski said alcohol related crashes caused 117 deaths in Minnesota last years.
"These are sad, tragic and preventable deaths," Nagorski said. "The fact is if you're driving drunk, it's much better to be stopped and arrested for a DWI than to cause a tragedy."
Critics Blast Legislators Over Surprise Sports Measure
Critics are blasting legislators after the state's budget committee passed a surprise motion that would allow private, home-schooled and online voucher school students to participate in public school sports and activities.
Boat Inspections Increase to Reduce Invasive Species
More boat inspectors are on patrol at Minnesota lakes and rivers to help stop the spread of invasive species, including zebra mussels.
Swarm Ask Lacrosse League for Relocation
The Minnesota Swarm wants to move. The lacrosse team has applied to the National Lacrosse League to relocate for the 2016 season.
Fire Kills 200 Chicks, Destroys Barn at LCO College Farm
The Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwe Community College says 200 chicks were killed when a barn at the college's farm burned down Saturday morning. There is no evidence of foul play.
Police Replace Two Children's Toys Lost in Fire
The Easter Sunday blaze that destroyed the Applewood Knoll apartments in Duluth was also the last time two children saw the toys the treasured, so on Saturday morning, members of the Duluth Police Department took those kids on a shopping trip, hoping the gesture would help them move forward....