by Jim Boyle
Elk River Police are encouraging motorists not to test their luck by driving drunk this St. Patrick’s Day.
The police department will add extra DWI patrols on the roads during the holiday weekend to prevent alcohol-related crashes.
St. Patrick’s Day is historically a dangerous drinking-and-driving party period, and officers, troopers and deputies are especially concerned as the holiday falls on a Sunday — meaning revelers may make a weekend of imbibing.
“There certainly is a strong Irish heritage in Minnesota and good reason to be proud and celebrate,” Tom Kummerow of the Minnesota State Highway Patrol stated in a press release. “But with too much celebration comes tragedy.”
During the past five years during the St. Patrick’s Day holiday, there were 11 traffic deaths and law enforcement arrested 1,241 motorists for DWI.
“Weekend-long events could make for a potentially dangerous situation on our roads,” Dave Windels of the Elk River Police Department said. “If you’re planning on drinking, also plan ahead for a sober ride.”
In the past five years, 651 people were killed in drunk driving crashes. Drunk driving deaths account for one-third of the state’s total deaths annually. Each year, nearly 30,000 people are arrested for DWI, and one in seven Minnesota drivers has a DWI on record.
DWI arrests pack a punch in consequences
A DWI offense can result in loss of license for up to a year, thousands in costs and possible jail time.
Repeat DWI offenders, as well as first-time offenders arrested at an alcohol-concentration level of 0.16 and above, must use ignition interlock to regain legal driving privileges or face at least one year without a driver’s license. Offenders with three or more offenses are required to use interlock for three to six years, or they will never regain driving privileges. Learn more about interlock at Minnesota IgnitionInterlock.org.
Toward Zero Deaths
DWI enforcement and education is a component of the state’s core traffic safety initiative, Toward Zero Deaths (TZD). A primary vision of the TZD program is to create a safe driving culture in Minnesota in which motorists support a goal of zero road fatalities by practicing and promoting safe and smart driving behavior. TZD focuses on the application of four strategic areas to reduce crashes — education, enforcement, engineering and emergency trauma response.
Driver who crossed fog, median lines arrested
Elk River Police arrested a 47-year-old Zimmerman man at about 10:30 p.m. on March 10 for DWI after an officer watched his Chevrolet cross the median line just north of 197th Ave., then cross the fog line after making a lane change. The motorist was stopped in the vicinity of Ranch Road and Highway 169. The driver and his passenger admitted to drinking. The driver failed all field sobriety tests, was arrested and booked into Sherburne County Jail.
Alleged road rage fails to turn up suspects
Elk River Police responded to a road rage complaint about 7 p.m. on March 10 after two teenage girls reported they were “flicked off” in a Target parking lot in Otsego and then followed all the way to Arby’s in Elk River.
The vehicle was described as a light blue four-door Saturn.
The driver was described as an African American woman in her late teen’s or early 20s wearing a red gangster-style hat, and the passenger was an African American male last seen wearing a black hat and shirt.
The complainants, two teenagers from Ramsey. also reported there were two African American middle school-aged children in the back of the vehicle. An officer checked the area but was unable to locate the suspect’s car.
Elk River man, 62, revived by police
Elk River Police were dispatched to 11000 block of 190th Avenue the morning of March 10 on a report of a 61-year-old Elk River male having a seizure and possibly in cardiac arrest. Upon arrival officers located male unconscious in a bedroom. Patient was not breathing and did not have a pulse. Officers began CPR and used portable defibrillator, shocking patient four times until Elk River Ambulance arrived. The male’s pulse was detected, and rescue breathing continued. Ambulance transported the patient to Mercy Hospital.
Boy wandering through Hallmark
An employee at Hallmark in Elk River reported that a juvenile male, about 8-10 years old, entered the store and was wandering around unattended at about 4:30 p.m. on March 10.
The complainant stated she made contact with the juvenile and spoke with him for several minutes before an adult female came inside the store and began scolding the child, accusing him of running away from his mother. The adult female left with the child in a silver minivan.
Elk River man, 27, arrested for DWI
A 27-year-old Elk River man was arrested for DWI after he was stopped along 197th Avenue and Ulysses Street on at 3:22 a.m. on March 10. An officer spotted the motorist drive off the paved portion of the roadway to the right with passenger side wheels, and then the motorist failed to bring the vehicle to a complete stop at the stop sign at the mentioned intersection.
The traffic stop investigation led to the driver being arrested for 4th Degree DWI.
Teens arrested for possession of pot
An 18-year-old Dayton man was cited March 10 for possession of alcohol and a small amount of marijuana after he was stopped in the area of Twin Lakes Road and 181st Avenue for making an improper lane change.
A 17-year-old Elk River boy, who was a passenger in the vehicle, was also cited for possession of a small amount of pot.
Ramsey women cited for DWI, possession
A 23-year-old Ramsey woman was arrested for DWI and another 23-year-old Ramsey woman was cited for possession of drug paraphernalia and a small amount of marijuana after a traffic stop about 1:40 a.m. on March 9 in the area of 193rd Avenue and Highway 169. The motorist was stopped for having a headlight out. The arrest happened during a CRASH detail.
Big Lake man, 34, arrested for DWI
A 34-year-old Big Lake man was arrested for DWI after a traffic stop at 1:33 a.m. on March 9 in the area of Highway 10 and County Road 43. The driver was stopped for speeding, crossing lanes and driving entirely on the shoulder of the roadway during a CRASH detail.
Otsego woman arrested for DWI
A 34-year-old Otsego woman was arrested for DWI after an officer witnessed her make an unsafe lane change and fail to signal a lane change. The stop happened about 2 a.m. on March 8 at Highway 169 and School Street.
Police respond to suicidal juvenile call
Elk River Police received a call from Spectrum High School about a possible suicidal juvenile. After assessing the child, the child was transported to a hospital at the request of the child’s mother.
Woman reports false tax return filed
A 62-year-old Elk River woman on the 1900 block of Vale Avenue called police March 6 to report she believed someone filed a false tax return with the IRS in her name. Victim said that she had not yet filed a return and believes that someone had stolen her personal information and filed a false tax return.
Elk River man reports iPhone swiped from Y
A 37-year-old Elk River man reported to police that his iPhone was stolen on between 8 and 9 p.m. on March 6 from the volleyball court area at the Elk River YMCA.
License plate stolen while person worked
A 21-year-old Ramsey woman reported at 11 p.m. on March 10 that while she was at work in the 400 block of Evans Avenue, someone stole her license plate off the rear of her vehicle. The front plate was bent down as if an attempt was made to remove it. The complainant’s red Jeep was parked in the south lot near the smoke shack. Video surveillance footage is pending.
Fire destroys car at the train depot
Elk River Police were called to a car fire the afternoon of March 9 on the 10600 block of 172nd Ave. Upon arrival, the car was fully engulfed. Elk River Fire responded the train depot and extinguished the blaze.
Elk River man cited for theft from Walmart
A 48-year-old Elk River man was cited for theft on March 8 after allegedly taking two Blackhawk holsters and a tube of RTV silicone sealant for a combined total of $42.41 from Walmart.
One driver cited, one passenger transported
A 16-year-old Elk River girl was cited for failing to drive with due care after a rear-end collision shortly before 5 p.m. on March at the intersection of 181st Avenue and Zane Street. One injured passenger was taken to the hospital.
ERHS principal reports defamatory FB site
An Elk River High School administrator reported that a fraudulent Facebook page had been created that was derogatory and defamatory to a staff member. Police are investigating.
Truck reportedly takes out RR crossing arm
Elk River Police responded to an anonymous report of a semi tractor-trailer going through a red light and a crossing arm lowered on the trailer at the Highway 10 and Jackson Avenue Railroad crossing. The truck reportedly continued westbound on Highway 10 and left the crossing arm hanging above the westbound tracks. BNSF was notified of the problem.