ST. PAUL, Minn. – Minnesota law enforcement agencies arrested 2,453 impaired drivers as part of an enhanced DWI enforcement campaign during Nov. 27-Dec. 31, 2013, according to preliminary DWI arrest information from the Minnesota Department of Public Safety (DPS) Office of Traffic Safety.
Based on preliminary data, there were 24,551 arrested for DWI in Minnesota in 2013. It is anticipated this number will approach 26,000 as data continues coming in and court cases are settled.
“The number of arrests made last month shows that too many of our drivers still make poor choices about drinking and driving,” said Donna Berger, Office of Traffic Safety director. “Our goal with these enhanced enforcement campaigns is to keep our roads safer and encourage drivers to make smarter decisions.”
The arrest numbers reflect statewide DWIs from 347 reporting agencies, including the Minnesota State Patrol, county sheriff’s offices and municipal law enforcement agencies.
The Minnesota State Patrol reported 546 arrests during the extra enforcement.
In the Twin Cities metro area, agencies with the most DWI arrests during the campaign included:
- 86 – Minneapolis PD
- 80 – St. Paul PD
- 44 – Bloomington PD
- 36 – Maple Grove PD
- 31 – Eden Prairie PD
- 38 – Wright County Sheriff’s Department
- 32 – Duluth PD
- 27 – Carver County Sheriff’s Office
- 24 – Blue Earth County Sheriff’s Department
- 23 – Red Lake Law Enforcement
4. St. Louis
8. Otter Tail
16. Crow Wing
18. Mille Lacs
25. Blue Earth
To view a complete county-by-county list of drunk driving deaths and alcohol-related serious crashes, visit: https://dps.mn.gov/divisions/ots/Documents/alc-realted-worst-co-10-12.pdf .
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.
- 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
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.
Office of Traffic Safety Highlights
- Roads in Minnesota’s 25 counties with the highest combined totals of drunk driving traffic deaths and alcohol-related serious injuries will be a primary focus for increased DWI enforcement through September 2014.
- In a continuing effort to advance traffic safety in Minnesota, DPS awarded new federal grants totaling more than $8.5 million for regional partners to support overtime traffic safety enforcement and educational efforts through September 2014.
- OTS projects around 395 traffic deaths for 2013 – approximately the same number of traffic deaths that occurred in 2012.
- OTS news archive.
- OTS PSA archive.
- Media are encouraged to localize traffic safety news by referencing county-specific crash facts.