"Ask a Trooper"
Question: I hear that many people that have been arrested for impaired driving have had multiple arrests. I heard something about DWI court and that it is trying to prevent that. Can you explain more?
Answer: Great topic and here is some information that was posted on the Minnesota Department of Public Safety’s blog. “If you had a leak in your roof, you might put a bucket underneath it to catch the dripping water. But you certainly wouldn’t call it “fixed.” That would only happen when you actually patch the roof. Until you solved the underlying problem, you’d need a bucket every time it rained – and that’s not an ideal scenario.
Addressing the problem of drunk driving in Minnesota poses similar issues. Yes, it’s very important for law enforcement to arrest impaired drivers, with the accompanying fines and sometimes jail time. It helps keep Minnesotans safer by removing the immediate threat of drunk driving from the roads. Unfortunately, those drivers can – and often do – drive under the influence again.
Minnesota’s DWI Courts are the roof patch in this scenario: The more long-term solution to the problem. And one such court, in St. Louis County, is starting as early as possible. They’ve started a program called SBIRT – that’s screening, brief intervention, and referral to treatment – with first-time offenders. The idea is to identify problems as soon as possible so that participants can avoid becoming repeat DWI offenders.
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