Minnesota Authorities Crack Down on Impaired Driving with 2,432 Arrests During Holiday DWI Campaign

St. Paul, Minnesota – Law enforcement agencies throughout the state conducted a successful DWI campaign during the holiday season, resulting in the arrest of 2,432 impaired drivers. This number represents an increase from the previous year’s campaign, which saw 2,228 DWI arrests.

The Minnesota Department of Public Safety Office of Traffic Safety, in coordination with funding from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, organized the extra enforcement and awareness campaign. The goal of the campaign was to reduce the number of impaired drivers on the road and promote safer driving practices.

Several notable impaired driving arrests took place during the campaign, highlighting the dangers of driving under the influence. In one incident, a Lakeville police officer was alerted by a Good Samaritan to a woman who had passed out behind the wheel at a busy intersection. The officer discovered that the woman, aged 51, still had her foot on the brake. When the officer tried to wake her, her vehicle rolled into the squad. The driver’s initial blood alcohol concentration (BAC) was recorded at 0.40.

Another tragic incident occurred in Redwood County, where deputies responded to a fatal crash involving alcohol. The driver, who was not wearing a seatbelt, lost control of the truck and subsequently rolled it. Alcohol was found in the vehicle, further underscoring the dangers of drinking and driving.

Law enforcement encounters during the campaign also revealed the alarming presence of children in vehicles driven by impaired drivers. In Chisago County, a driver was pulled over by a sheriff’s deputy and found to have their 2-year-old son in the vehicle. The driver’s BAC was measured at 0.18, leading to a second-degree DWI arrest. Similarly, a Minnesota State Patrol trooper stopped a vehicle for weaving across lane lines and discovered a driver with a BAC of 0.225. The driver’s 10-year-old son was present in the backseat.

These incidents, among others, serve as a reminder of the importance of responsible drinking and ensuring a sober ride home. Mike Hanson, the director of the Office of Traffic Safety, emphasized this point, warning against the risks associated with driving under the influence. The highest reported BACs throughout the state varied, with some police departments reporting readings of 0.46, 0.441, and 0.37.

The campaign also saw various law enforcement agencies recording high numbers of DWI arrests. The Minnesota State Patrol West Metro District led the way with 204 arrests, closely followed by the Minnesota State Patrol East Metro District with 104 arrests. The statewide totals help demonstrate the scope of the problem, with 279 agencies participating in the campaign.

In conclusion, law enforcement agencies across Minnesota have made significant strides in combating impaired driving during the holiday season. The increased number of DWI arrests compared to the previous year’s campaign reflects the dedication and efforts of these agencies to make the roads safer for all. However, these numbers also serve as a reminder that more work needs to be done to eliminate the threat of impaired driving completely.