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NEWS RELEASE

Bruce Gordon, Director of Communications
CONTACT:
Scott Wasserman  651-201-7571
scott.wasserman@state.mn.us
Dave Boxum  651-201-7569
dave.boxum@state.mn.us
 
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 13, 2016
DWI Incidents Highlight Dangerous Month Of Holiday Drunk Driving
DWI Enhanced Enforcement Yields 2,502 Drunk Driving Arrests Nov. 25 – Jan. 2

​ST. PAUL – Far too often people are choosing to risk their lives and the lives of others on the road by getting behind the wheel drunk. The 2,502 DWI arrests during the statewide extra DWI enforcement campaign include stories that are not only disturbing but frightening.

The drunk driving arrests include:

  • A 50-year-old man arrested for driving with a 0.25 Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) with his 11-year-old in the vehicle in St. Paul.
  • A 33-year-old man who drove through a stop sign, hitting another car, causing severe injuries. The driver registered a 0.20 BAC.
  • In Carver County, a deputy made a traffic stop where both people in the car were arrested for drunk driving. The initial driver became sick and stopped in the middle of the street. His female passenger then drove the car onto the side of the road. The man blew a 0.33 and the woman registered a 0.11.
  • A driver who registered a 0.24 BAC was arrested in Olmsted County for a third DWI in three weeks.

“Unfortunately, these examples of DWI arrests are all too common,” said Donna Berger, Office of Traffic Safety director. “If you choose to drink, you have the responsibility to find a sober ride home. When you drive drunk, you are not only harming yourself, you are putting other lives at risk.”

DWI Arrests by the Number
The statewide extra DWI enforcement campaign ran over the holidays and on weekends from Nov. 25 – Jan. 2. More than 300 law enforcement agencies across Minnesota participated in the campaign conducted by Department of Public Safety Office of Traffic Safety (DPS-OTS).

A driver with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 or above can be arrested for DWI and during the extra enforcement campaign, the highest alcohol concentrations recorded included:

  • 0.40 – Minnetonka Police Department
  • 0.39 – Ramsey County Sheriff’s Office
  • 0.35 – Bloomington, Bemidji and Plymouth Police Departments
  • 0.34 – Virginia Police Department
  • 0.33 – Dakota, Carver and Wright County Sheriff’s Offices; St. Francis Police Department

DWI Arrests by Agency
In the Twin Cities metro area, agencies with the most DWI arrests during the campaign included:

  • Minnesota State Patrol District 2400 (Oakdale) – 173
  • Minnesota State Patrol District 2500 (Golden Valley) – 172
  • St. Paul Police Department – 74
  • Minneapolis Police Department – 59
  • Bloomington Police Department – 39

In Greater Minnesota, agencies with the most arrests included:

  • Minnesota State Patrol District 2100 (Rochester) – 62
  • Mankato Department of Public Safety – 39
  • St. Cloud Police Department – 37
  • Stearns County Sheriff’s Office – 34
  • Minnesota State Patrol District 2600 (St. Cloud) – 34

The entire report can be found online.

Commit to a Sober Driving Year
DPS-OTS officials want motorists in 2016 to make a lifestyle change to line up a sober ride today and always. If friends are driving drunk, offer to be a designated driver. If Minnesotans see an impaired person about to get behind the wheel, speak up, take their keys away or call 911.

About the Minnesota Department Public Safety
The Minnesota Department of Public Safety (DPS) comprises 11 divisions where 2,100 employees operate programs in the areas of law enforcement, crime victim assistance, traffic safety, alcohol and gambling, emergency communications, fire safety, pipeline safety, driver licensing, vehicle registration and emergency management. DPS activity is anchored by three core principles: education, enforcement and prevention.

About the Office of Traffic Safety
The Minnesota Department of Public Safety Office of Traffic Safety (DPS-OTS) designs, implements and coordinates federally funded traffic safety enforcement and education programs to improve driver behaviors and reduce the deaths and serious injuries that occur on Minnesota roads. DPS-OTS also administers state funds for the motorcycle safety program and for the child seats for needy families program.

DPS-OTS is an anchoring partner of the state’s Toward Zero Deaths (TZD) traffic safety program. A primary vision of the TZD program is to create a safe driving culture in Minnesota in which motorists support a goal of zero road fatalities by practicing and promoting safe and smart driving behavior. TZD focuses on the application of four strategic areas to reduce crashes – education, enforcement, engineering, and emergency medical and trauma response.

Recent DPS-OTS Activity and Statistics

  • “Locked Up: A DWI Booking,” gives you an inside look at the DWI booking process. Being arrested for a DWI involves more than just getting a ticket.
  • During October’s Click It or Ticket campaign, law enforcement reported 5,550 motorists were cited for seat belt violations from Oct. 9 – 25, a 33 percent drop from last year’s October wave when 8,195 motorists were ticketed and the lowest since 2010.
  • Officers, deputies and troopers made 1,513 arrests during the enhanced DWI enforcement campaign Aug. 21 – Sept. 7; that’s compared with 1,340 during the campaign a year ago.
  • Minnesota Motor Vehicle Crash Facts 2014 is a summary of traffic crashes derived from law enforcement reports and describes how, why and where crashes occurred and who was involved.
     
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445 Minnesota Street, Suite 100 | Saint Paul, Minnesota 55101-5155 | dps.mn.gov