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Ask a trooper: Give dispatcher detailed information on drunk drivers

Q: I recently called 911 to report a suspected drunk driver. I had never done this before and was uncertain of proper procedure. I gave the location and description of the vehicle. My question is, should I have followed the car until an officer located the vehicle or considered my civic duty done?

A: Not necessarily, but it helps if you do. I don’t think our dispatchers are asking people to do that, but I do know that people are sometimes coincidentally going the same direction that the suspected impaired driver is, so they stay on the line or they call back when the vehicle turns or if there is updated information. We need everyone to be our eyes and ears out there on the roadways, so we appreciate accurate information being called in. When you call 911 to report, be ready to provide car description, license plate, location and driver behavior. You want to stay back and away from the suspected impaired driver’s vehicle and be safe. It always helps to know where you are when you are driving so that when you call in a driving complaint or crash or some other incident, we can go directly to the correct location. Many times we get the wrong location because callers don’t know exactly where they are.

Q: I have a lot of questions about handicapped parking laws in Minnesota. What is the best way to find out a lot of specific information?

A: Hopefully people will understand the need for handicapped parking and will take consideration of these spots for their intended use and not be abusive. Your question is a better one for local law enforcement, but I get questions about it often and spoke with some local officers about it. Here are some good places to start your search: r Minnesota State Council on Disability: disability-parking/ To review the actual Disability Parking Laws in Minnesota, go to: r ?id=169.345, or r ?id=169.346, or r ?id=168.021 If you still have specific questions, contact: r Minnesota State Council on Disability, 121 E. Seventh Place, Suite 107, St. Paul, MN 55101; (800) 945-8913 or (651) 361-7800; or council.disability@

Sgt. Curt S. Mowers is a regional public information officer for the Minnesota State Patrol.