Poor choices highlight extra DWI enforcement

Source: MGN Cropped Photo: Courtesy: Minnesota DWI Center / CC BY-SA 3.0 DE

ST. PAUL, Minn. (Valley News Live) The Minnesota Department of Public Safety says the number of drivers arrested for repeat DWIs reflects the struggles to change behaviors and plan a sober ride.

Results from Extra Enforcement Campaign

• During the holiday DWI campaign that included extra enforcement from Nov. 21 – Dec. 29, officers, deputies and troopers arrested 2,757 drivers for driving impaired compared with 2,656 DWI arrests during the same period in 2017.

• There were also 1,901 seat belt citations, compared with 1,958 in 2017.

• More than 300 law enforcement agencies across Minnesota participated in the campaign conducted by the Department of Public Safety Office of Traffic Safety.

Drunk Driving Arrests

• In Blue Earth County, a woman was arrested for DWI after she hit multiple guardrails and went into the ditch. Four days later, on Christmas day, she was arrested in Goodhue County for DWI.

• In Cross Lake, police made a DWI arrest after clocking a driver going 108 mph.

• The Hawley Police Department arrested a driver for a second DWI, two days after the first arrest.

• In Minneapolis, police arrested a man for his 11th DWI and a woman for her 12th DWI.

• In Minnetonka, an officer’s squad was hit by a drunk driver, and another officer arrested a drunk driver who had an 11-year-old in the vehicle.

• In the west metro, 13 of the State Patrol’s DWI arrests were for a controlled substance.

• In Mower County, eight of the nine DWI arrests were for a controlled substance.

• In Olmsted County, 12 of the 43 DWI arrests were during the daytime.

• Stillwater Police arrested a drunk driver who crashed into a townhouse complex and stopped inside a living room.

Highest BAC

During the campaign, 10 agencies reported people arrested for DWI with a BAC of .30 or higher. They include:

• University of Minnesota (Twin Cities) Police Department (.424)

• Nicollet County Sheriff's Office (.377)

• St. Cloud Police Department (.373)

• Itasca County Sheriff’s Office (.34)

• Prior Lake Police Department (.34)

• Wright County Sheriff’s Office (.34)

• Goodview Police Department (.32)

• Lakeville Police Department (.32)

• Saint Paul Police Department (.32)

• Centennial Lakes Police Department (.31)

• Eden Prairie Police Department (.31)

• Minnesota State Patrol - District 2100 (Rochester) (.31)

• Mounds View Police Department (.30)

• South St. Paul Police Department (.30)

• St. Anthony Police Department (.30)

DWI Arrests by Agency

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

• Minnesota State Patrol District 2500 (Golden Valley) – 199

• Minnesota State Patrol District 2400 (Oakdale) – 177

• St. Paul Police Department – 121

• Minneapolis Police Department – 54
In Greater Minnesota, agencies with the most arrests included:

• Minnesota State Patrol District 2100 (Rochester) – 72

• Minnesota State Patrol District 2700 (Duluth) – 59

• Olmsted County Sheriff’s Office – 43

• Wright County Sheriff’s Office – 42

The list of participating agencies and BAC can be found online.

Coordinated Effort

The enhanced enforcement and education efforts are coordinated through DPS-OTS with overtime paid with federal funds received from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.


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DWI Consequences

• 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.

• Offenders with three or more offenses are required to use interlock for three to six years, or they will never regain driving privileges.

Prevent Drunk Driving

• Plan for a safe ride – designate a sober driver, use a safe, alternative transportation option, 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.