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Blue Earth County continues to crack down on DWIs

Deputy Adam Suckow takes KEYC along to show what happens on a DWI stop
Published: Sep. 19, 2021 at 3:54 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 19, 2021 at 10:42 PM CDT
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MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) - The Blue Earth County Sheriff’s Office is working to crack down on drunk driving in the area.

“Our goal is to get to zero deaths, but unfortunately that hasn’t happened yet,” Blue Earth County Deputy Adam Suckow said. “We have not even gotten close. DWI related deaths in the state of Minnesota continue to be an issue. Our goal is to minimize the DWIs and get that number down to zero.”

Suckow has signs he looks for when approaching a possible impaired driver.

“We are looking for bloodshot red watery eyes, slurred speech, fumbling documents, a lot of times people will hand you their credit card instead of their driver’s licenses,” Suckow said.

Other signs that Suckow looks for are smoking a fresh cigarette or chewing gum to try and mask the smell of alcohol.

In Minnesota those who are pulled over for a DWI can face serious consequences like potential jail time and having their license taken away; it could end up costing the driver up to $20,000.

“There are ways to get around very easily with Lyfts and Ubers and everything like that so there is no reason to be drinking and driving,” Suckow said.

Like other offenses, DWIs have degrees and can go up to a fourth degree, which is considered a misdemeanor in Minnesota.

A first degree DWI means that the driver has either gotten a DWI within 10 years of another, has been convicted of a felony or has been convicted of a felony related to their DWI; they could face up to a $14,000 fine and/or up to seven years in prison.

These higher degrees are one of the reasons why driving while impaired is so dangerous and the reason why Blue Earth county is working to enforce traffic stops.

“Every stop is different unfortunately you are always thinking different things but at the end of the day you want to be safe and get home at the end of the night,” Suckow said.

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