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Drunk driving campaign leads to 9 arrests

Albert Lea police officers took nine people into custody during an anti-DUI campaign held in Freeborn County between Aug. 18 and Sept. 1. Over 300 Minnesota law enforcement agencies took part in the initiative.

According to authorities, one of the defendants was arrested after entering a stranger's house and sitting on a couch. Two others were taken into custody for allegedly driving while under the influence of drugs. Another defendant was charged with first-degree DUI and fleeing in a motor vehicle after trying to elude officers. Meanwhile, another driver was taken into custody for allegedly having a blood alcohol content level of .24, which is three times the legal limit.

More Minnesotans are killed in drunk driving accidents during the summer months than any other time of the year. Between 2011 and 2015, 150 people died in alcohol-related car accidents during the months of June, July and August. Autumn is the second deadliest period, with 127 deaths reported during the same five-year period. Drunk driving fatalities accounted for nearly a quarter of all traffic deaths in the state in 2015.

A drunk driving conviction can lead to serious consequences, including incarceration, fines and the suspension of an individual's driver's license. However, just because people are charged with DWI doesn't mean that they will automatically be convicted. With the help of a criminal defense attorney, it may be possible to fight the charges and protect a defendant's future. For example, an attorney could dispute the accuracy of any field sobriety or breath tests conducted by officers, which could cause the case to be dismissed. Another potential defense strategy involves negotiating a plea deal that lowers the charges, which could help a defendant avoid the harshest penalties.

Source: Albert Lea Tribune, "9 arrested in recent DWI enforcement campaign", Sarah Stultz, Sept. 13, 2017

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