2,656 Holiday DWI Arrests: A Sobering Reminder of Drinking and Driving Dangers

Public Safety Officials: What’s Your Sober Game Plan? ST. PAUL – Learning from past mistakes can help motorists as Minnesota prepares to welcome Super Bowl fans from across the state, country and the world. During the holiday DWI campaign that included extra enforcement from Nov. 22 – Dec. 31, officers, deputies and troopers arrested 2,656 drivers for driving impaired compared with 2,407 DWI arrests during the same period in 2016. More than 300 law enforcement agencies across Minnesota participated in the campaign conducted by the Department of Public Safety Office of Traffic Safety (DPS-OTS). A complete list of agency DWI arrests can be found online. The drunk driving arrests include: Fairm

Marijuana, meth still the top local drugs in 2017

MANKATO — Marijuana is still king among Mankato-area drug users, methamphetamine is still the most destructive, and the opioid epidemic plaguing other parts of America is still not a widespread problem locally, according to statistics from the Minnesota River Valley Drug Task Force. The task force — which covers Blue Earth, Nicollet, Watonwan and Martin counties — made 165 drug-related arrests in 2017, said task force Cmdr. Jeff Wersal. That's a 10 percent jump from the previous year, and the total number of cases handled rose a similar amount. "For the last five or six years, it's the most cases," Wersal said. The growth could indicate growing illegal drug use, but it could also reflect add

In Opioid Epidemic, States Intensify Prescription Drug Monitoring

Long before the current opioid epidemic, most states developed drug-tracking systems to allow physicians and pharmacists to check patients’ prescription drug use, including opioid painkillers, to determine whether they may be receiving too many pills, at too high a dose or in dangerous combination with other medications such as sedatives and muscle relaxants. But few prescribers took advantage of the systems. Now, faced with a drug overdose epidemic that killed more than 63,000 people in 2016, at least 39 states are insisting that health professionals use the systems, known as prescription drug-monitoring programs, or PDMPs, to analyze each patient’s prescription drug use before writing anot

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