ST. CLOUD -- This week in our “Behind the Scenes” series on WJON, Reporter Alex Svejkovsky shows us first hand what happens when you're arrest for driving under influence.

We have all heard the many "don't drink and drive" campaigns put out by the Minnesota State Patrol, and many times they go in one ear and out the other.

However before you get in your car after a fun night of drinking, know officers are out there

and that ride may be your last for a while.

Minnesota State Patrol Sergeant Jesse Grabow says when they see the warning signs someone is driving drunk, a traffic stop is made.

"We approach the vehicle and the officer goes about what they observe," says Grabow. "You explain the process of why you stopped them, and then it's the indicators you may observe that may lead to suspecting to be driving under the influence."

During the conversation the officer believes you have been drinking, a series of field test are done to further assess the situation which could lead to the famous last words.

"Sir, I believe you've had too much drink and drive I'm going to be placing you under arrest for driving under the influence of alcohol," says Grabow.

You're then handcuffed, placed in the back of a squad car and taken to a nearby police station. A process that could take several hours.

"It's not uncommon for a DWI arrest to tie an officer up for 1 to 2 hours with the whole process it involves," says Grabow.

Once at the police station you are read the Motor vehicle Implied Consent Advisory, and asked to take a second breath test before finally taken to jail and booked.

Statistics show that of Minnesota's 4 million licensed motorists, one in seven has a drunken driving conviction.

Grabow says their goal isn't about making as many arrest as possible, but about preventing what could be a life changing event.

"Our goal is about DWI prevention, if you're going to out to celebrate and have a good time great, but just be smart and responsible and have that safe ride home," says Grabow.

The number of arrests for drunken driving in Minnesota has dropped to the lowest level in 20 years.


WJON's Alex Svejkovsky sits in the back of a State Patrol vehicle showing what could happen to you if you drive drunk. (Photo: Josh Akkerman)