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Becker listed in top 13 counties for DWI-related deaths; increased enforcement started Wednesday

Becker was among the 13 counties in Minnesota with the highest totals of drunk driving-related deaths and serious injuries from 2009-11, as reported by the Minnesota Department of Public Safety this month.

"Because of that, there will be extra patrols in the area, starting today and continuing through September 2013," said Sgt. Jesse Grabow, public information officer for the Minnesota State Patrol, on Wednesday.

Becker County (No. 11) was a first-time entry on the list, along with Meeker (No. 12) and Otter Tail (No. 13) counties. Counties topping the list were: 1. Hennepin; 2. Ramsey; 3. St. Louis; 4. Anoka; 5. Dakota; 6. Olmsted; 7. Washington; 8. Stearns; 9. Wright; 10. Sherburne.

All 13 counties on the list will be the focus of increased DWI enforcement, as part of a 12-month, federally funded program. Agencies in the 13 counties will use high-visibility enforcement tactics to alert motorists of increased enforcement -- including electronic message board signage and heavy patrols along specific corridors. Advertising will accompany the enforcement to encourage Minnesotans to avoid driving impaired.

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