ST. PAUL — Law enforcement arrested 1,556 impaired drivers as part of a statewide Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over DWI enforcement campaign Aug. 16–Sept. 2, according to Department of Public Safety (DPS) Office of Traffic Safety preliminary reports from 344 reporting agencies. Highest alcohol concentrations recorded during the campaign included:
- 0.4 (Woodbury PD)
- 0.37 (Worthington PD)
- 0.36 (Minnetonka PD)
- 0.36 (Marshall County Sheriff)
- 0.357 (Swift County Sheriff)
Each year, around 30,000 motorists are arrested for DWI in Minnesota. Drunk driving crashes have resulted in 585 deaths during the past five years — 104 in 2012.
“Fatal crashes that occur at the hands of a drunk driver are the epitome of a tragedy because they are 100 percent preventable,” says Lt. Eric Roeske, Minnesota State Patrol. “By simply planning ahead for a sober ride, we can help keep our roads safe and avoid these unnecessary, life-altering events.
End-of-Summer DWI Campaign — Arrests by Agency
The Minnesota State Patrol reported 263 arrests during the extra enforcement. In the Twin Cities, agencies with the most DWI arrests during the campaign included:
- St. Paul PD (60 arrests)
- Minneapolis PD (42)
- Bloomington PD (31)
- White Bear Lake PD (27)
- Eden Prairie PD (25)
In Greater Minnesota, where 77 percent of the drunk driving deaths occur annually, agencies with the most arrests included:
- St. Cloud PD (23)
- Moorhead PD (22)
- Red Lake Public Safety (21)
- Rochester PD (17)
- Clay County Sheriff (16)
To view all arrests by agency and their highest alcohol-concentration DWI arrest, visit https://dps.mn.gov/divisions/ots/Documents/DWI-arrests-LaborDay-2013.pdf.
Minnesota Drunk Driving Facts
- 104 people were killed in drunk driving crashes in 2012 — 100 fewer than a decade ago.
- 2,644 people suffered injuries in alcohol-related crashes in 2012.
- 28,418 people were arrested for DWI in 2012, the average alcohol-concentration was 0.15.
A DWI offense can result in loss of license for up to a year, thousands in costs and possible jail time.
Repeat DWI offenders, as well as first-time offenders arrested at 0.16 and above alcohol-concentration level, must use ignition interlock in order to regain legal driving privileges, or face at least one year without a driver’s license. Offenders with three or more offenses are required to use interlock for three to six years, or they will never regain driving privileges.
Tips to Prevent Drunk Driving
- Plan for a sober ride — designate a sober driver, use a cab/public transportation or stay at the location of the celebration.
- Be the sober driver — Offer to be a designated driver, or be available to pick up a loved one anytime, anywhere.
- Buckle up — the best defense against a drunk driver.
- Report drunk driving — call 911 when witnessing impaired driving behavior. Be prepared to provide location, license plate number and observed dangerous behavior.
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 (OTS)
The Minnesota Department of Public Safety Office of Traffic Safety (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. OTS also administers state funds for the motorcycle safety program and for the child seats for needy families program.
OTS is an anchoring partner of the state’s Toward Zero Deaths (TZD) traffic safety initiative. 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 trauma response.