Impaired Driving: A Serious Threat on Minnesota Roads
Long-term trends show Minnesotans are increasingly aware that drinking and driving don't mix, but DWIs are increasing this year after pandemic-related shutdowns last year helped curb impaired driving.
DWI arrests dropped from 29,479 in 2011 to 22,653 in 2020, a 23 percent decrease, and fewer motorists are losing their lives due to alcohol.
- Numbers show 79 people died in drunk driving-related crashes in 2020 compared with 136 people in 2011, a 42 percent decline.
- More than half of all traffic deaths in the 1960s were related to drinking and driving.
- In 2020, drunk driving-related deaths were 20 percent of all traffic fatalities in Minnesota.
Minnesota DWI Courts: A Summary of Evaluation Findings
Read the summary of a detailed process evaluation and outcome evaluation in nine Minnesota DWI court programs, and a cost-benefit evaluation in seven of these programs. The overall goal of the DWI court project was to have a credible and rigorous evaluation of the process and effectiveness of Minnesota’s DWI courts.
Commit to a Sober Ride
Plan for a safe ride — designate a sober driver, use a cab/public transportation or stay at the location of the celebration.
Speak Up – 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.
The Consequences of Impaired Driving
Loss of license for up to a year, thousands of dollars 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.
First-time offenders arrested at 0.16 and above are required to use interlock for one year.
Offenders with three or more offenses are required to use interlock for three to six years, or they will never regain driving privileges.
Stronger DWI Sanctions with Ignition Interlock Law
Repeat DWI offenders, as well as first-time offenders arrested at 0.16 and above alcohol-concentration level, must use 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 install interlock and use for three to six years, or they will never regain driving privileges. Learn more about the ignition interlock sanctions.