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State Patrol to launch high-intensity saturation this weekend

Fifteen troopers will patrol east metro freeways between Friday afternoon and Sunday evening, looking for drivers who are speeding, distracted or impaired.

ST PAUL, Minn. — Editor's note: The video above first aired on May 24, 2022. 

Consider yourself warned. 

The Minnesota State Patrol is making it clear that drivers in the east metro will be under extra scrutiny this weekend, as troopers conduct the second of five planned high-intensity patrols this summer. 

Fifteen troopers will patrol freeways in Chisago, Dakota and Washington counties between 2 p.m. Friday and 8 p.m. Sunday. They will be watching for what the patrol calls "the deadliest violators": Those who are speeding, distracted, unbuckled or impaired. The Minnesota Department of Public Safety (DPS) says the goal is to have a visible presence, and protect motorists during the busiest weekend hours. 

The first high-intensity patrol was conducted between May 13 and 15 in the Brainerd Lakes area, and ended with hundreds of citations. On that weekend troopers stopped 786 motorists, 602 of them for speeding and 14 for DWI. One 16-year-old was cited for driving 102 miles per hour. 

“Our troopers worked really hard to stop drivers who were breaking the law and endangering themselves and other motorists," stated Col. Matt Langer, chief of the Minnesota State Patrol, in a released statement. "This continued enforcement will help make Minnesota roads safer by stopping dangerous driving behaviors. Our message remains simple: buckle up, drive the speed limit, plan a sober ride and always pay attention.”

After this weekend troopers will hold three more saturations this summer. 

  • July 15, 16 and 17: Twin Cities Metro freeways
  • August 5, 6 and 7: I-35 from Pine City to Duluth
  • September 16, 17 and 18: I-94 from Rogers to Moorhead

The DPS high-intensity patrols are part of a larger effort called Project 20(22), which emphasizes using a team approach to traffic safety with the ultimate goal of reducing traffic deaths. As of June 19, 155 people have died on Minnesota roads so far this year. 

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