BAXTER - Motorists driving in the Brainerd lakes area during the 28th annual Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals at Brainerd International Raceway will be greeted with the usual extra State Patrol staffing of the RAID Team, the State Patrol reported.
The Remove Alcohol Impaired Drivers team has been coming to the area every year for the Nationals since about 1991. As in years past, each State Patrol District sends one trooper to work on the team to saturate the area with extra patrols.
A pair of super stock race cars roared off the line Thursday at Brainerd International Raceway during sportsmen racing at the Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals. Additional photos and stories in Sports.Racing will continue with professional rounds beginning Friday and ending Sunday. Brainerd Dispatch/Steve Kohls » Purchase reprints of this photo.
The focus of the RAID team is on impaired driving. However, troopers will be stopping motorists for a variety of reasons, including not wearing a seat belt.
Separate from the RAID team, several local troopers are also contracted with BIR to be present on Highway 371 at the main gate to direct traffic, including pedestrians throughout the time of the event.
"We want to enhance traffic safety in and around the area to help combat the extra problems that can result when there is a high influx of traffic," Capt. Mark Jonassen of the Brainerd State Patrol District said in a news release.
To expedite the processing and breath-testing of suspects stopped for impaired driving, the State Patrol also will be making available its Batmobile portable DWI processing vehicle, which will be on site and available for use by any law enforcement agency in the area who needs it and wants to use it, Jonassen said.
Motorists traveling through the area should expect minor traffic delays, especially on Sunday when the races end. Motorists are encouraged to take alternate routes if possible during the whole event.