1,842 DWI arrests recorded during statewide campaign, Aug. 17-Sept. 3
St. Paul, MN — A statewide Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over DWI enforcement campaign, Aug. 17–Sept. 3, resulted in the arrest of 1,842 impaired drivers, according to Department of Public Safety (DPS) Office of Traffic Safety preliminary reports from 315 reporting agencies.
A similar DWI crackdown to close out summer in 2011 resulted in 1,787 DWI arrests.
Each year, around 30,000 motorists are arrested for DWI in Minnesota. Drunk driving crashes have resulted in 651 deaths during the past five years — 111 in 2011. In 2011, the average DWI offender was arrested with a 0.16 alcohol-concentration level.
“The tragedies and life-changing events as a result of drunk driving can be prevented by smart planning,” says Lt. Eric Roeske of the State Patrol. “It’s our responsibilities as motorists to plan a safe and sober ride to avoid getting behind the wheel after drinking and putting our roads in danger.”
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.
The Minnesota State Patrol reported 343 arrests during the extra enforcement. In the Twin Cities, agencies with the most DWI arrests during the campaign include: St. Paul PD (100); Minneapolis PD (42); Bloomington PD (32); Maplewood PD (24) and Eagan PD (22).
In Greater Minnesota, where 77 percent of the drunk driving deaths occur annually, agencies with the most arrests include: Rochester PD (27); St. Cloud PD (26); Austin PD (17); Beltrami Co. Sheriff (14); and Moorhead PD (13).
Highest alcohol-concentrations for the campaign included: 0.385 (Dodge County Sheriff); 0.38 (State Patrol, east metro and White Bear Lake PD); 0.34 (Douglas County Sheriff); 0.328 (Isanti P.D.); 0.31 (Cottage Grove PD and Minneapolis PD); 0.30 (Mankato PD); and 0.304 (New Prague PD).
• View all arrests by agency and their highest alcohol-concentration DWI arrest. (https://dps.mn.gov/divisions/ots/Documents/DWI-arrest-results-LaborDay-2012.pdf)
Tips to Prevent Drunk Driving
• Plan for a safe ride — designate a sober driver, use a cab/public transportation, or stay at the location of the celebration. Let family/friends know you are available to offer a safe ride home.
• Buckle up and wear protective motorcycle gear — the best defenses 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 Office of Traffic Safety
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 motorcycle safety programs and child seats for needy families.
OTS is an anchoring partner of the state’s Toward Zero Deaths 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.
Office of Traffic Safety Highlights
• In September, OTS media campaigns focus on ignition interlock; distracted driving and child passenger safety. National Child Passenger Safety Week is Sept.16–22.
• The annual Toward Zero Deaths conference is in Bloomington, Oct. 22-24.
• 23,285 speeders were ticketed during a July statewide speed campaign.
• OTS issued the 2011 Minnesota Motor Vehicle Crash Facts report, citing 368 traffic deaths for the year, the lowest since 1944 and a 44 percent reduction in deaths from a decade ago.
• More than 4,000 DWI offenders are using ignition interlock to benefit road safety and ensure legal, sober driving.
• Media are encouraged to download and broadcast or place OTS public service announcements to advance road safety.
• Media are encouraged to localize traffic safety news by referencing county-specific crash facts.