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."
Chisholm-Based 114th Officially Welcomed Home
After returning from a 9-month deployment in Afghanistan, the Chisholm-based 114th Transportation Company got a proper homecoming from the community Saturday.
Burger King Construction Site Falls Victim to High Winds
The new Burger King site off Highway 53 in Duluth was a victim of high wind speeds Saturday. Crews said they were working on it around 10 a.m. when it collapsed. Wind speeds were gusting up to 40 miles per hour.
Scout for Food Event Makes Donating Easy
Local boy scouts helped grocery shoppers during the Scout for Food event Saturday. The goal of the event is to make it easy for people to donate to the annual Share Food Drive.
Chicken Kiev Linked to Minnesota Outbreak Recalled
Federal authorities say a Chicago company has recalled nearly 29,000 pounds of chicken Kiev products linked to a salmonella outbreak in Minnesota. The U.S. Department of Agriculture says the raw, frozen chicken entrees from the Aspen Foods division of Koch Meats were sold as Antioch Farms brand A La Kiev raw stuffed chicken breast.
Wisconsin Sex Offenders Must Stay Home on Halloween
Police are teaming up with parole agents across Wisconsin to make sure sex offenders stay home on Halloween night.