Pulled Over - Faribault Police - DWI

In this 2018 file photo, Faribault Patrol Officer Michael Shuda pulls over a driver. (File photo/southernminn.com)

Holiday DWI arrests return to pre-pandemic levels, according to the Minnesota Department of Public Safety.

Extra Patrols Campaign Results

• During the statewide holiday extra DWI patrols campaign Nov. 24-Dec. 31, officers, deputies and troopers arrested 2,037 drivers for driving impaired compared with 1,383 DWI arrests during the 2020 holiday campaign.

• Law enforcement agencies across Minnesota participated in the campaign conducted by the Department of Public Safety Office of Traffic Safety (DPS-OTS).

• Overtime funding for the campaign is provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Extra Holiday DWI Patrols History

DWI arrests Nov. 24-Dec. 31 by year:

• 2021 2,037

• 2020 1,383

• 2019 2,353

• 2018 2,757

• 2017 2,656

• 2016 2,407

• 2015 2,502

Impaired Driving Leads to Serious Consequences

Choosing to drive while impaired is a selfish choice that not only risks the driver’s life, but also the lives of innocent motorists. Here are the number of 2017-2021 holiday campaign alcohol-related traffic deaths and injuries:

• 2021: Five fatalities and four injuries. (Preliminary)

• 2020: 11 fatalities and eight injuries.

• 2019: Nine fatalities and five injuries.

• 2018: 10 fatalities and three injuries.

• 2017: Nine fatalities and four injuries.

Drunk Driving Arrests Included:

• Rogers police arrested a motorist who pulled up to a random house and rang the doorbell. The man was only wearing one shoe. The driver’s BAC was .21.

• Rogers police arrested a driver who was swerving and hit a barrier. The arresting officers needed to enter the vehicle and place it in park to get the car to stop. The driver was arrested for DWI after recording a BAC of .28.

• St. Francis police arrested an 18-year-old for joy riding while drunk and high on marijuana.

• St. Francis police arrested a man for DWI who drove through a house, causing $50,000 in damage.

• Thief River Falls police arrested a 19-year-old man for DWI after going 68 mph in a 30 mph zone.

• St. Francis police arrested a 31-year-old woman for DWI. She had a 2-year-old in the backseat, sitting next to their car seat.

• University of Minnesota Duluth police arrested a man slumped over in his vehicle while on their lunch break.

• Austin police arrested a mother for DWI who was picking up her kids at daycare. A concerned family member called police who arrested the woman as she was putting her kids in the car. Her BAC was .20.

• St. Paul police arrested a 30-year-old woman upset her pizza wasn’t ready when she arrived. She sped away and rolled her SUV. Her BAC was .156.

• Wright County Sheriff’s deputies arrested a 53-yr-old female driver for DWI who said she took prescription medication before driving.

• Cottage Grove police arrested a 32-yr-old impaired male driver with a .26 BAC who was swerving and almost hit a vehicle head-on.

DWI Arrests by Agency

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

• Minnesota State Patrol - District 2400 (Oakdale): 109

• Saint Paul Police Department: 107

• Minnesota State Patrol - District 2500 (Golden Valley): 106

• Coon Rapids Police Department: 35

• Shakopee Police Department: 26

In Greater Minnesota, agencies with the most arrests included:

• Minnesota State Patrol - District 2100 (Rochester): 57

• Red Lake Police Department: 44

• Hubbard County Sheriff’s Office: 37

• Wright County Sheriff's Office: 35

• Duluth Police Department: 33

• Stearns County Sheriff's Office: 31

• Bemidji Police Department: 30

Metro-area Top BACs:

• Minnesota State Patrol - District 2500 (Golden Valley) (.4)

• Ramsey County Sheriff's Office (.4)

• Minnesota State Patrol - District 2400 (Oakdale) (.34)

• West St. Paul Police Department (.34)

• Minnesota State Patrol - District 2800 (Brainerd) (.33)

• South Lake Minnetonka Police Department (.33)

• Coon Rapids Police Department (.3)

• Rosemount Police Department (.3)

Greater MN - Top BACs:

• Mankato DPS Police (.39)

• Wright County Sheriff's Office (.36)

• Winona County Sheriff’s Office (.36)

• Kandiyohi County Sheriff's Office (.33)

• Beltrami County Sheriff's Office (.31)

• Breezy Point Police Department (.31)

• Wadena County Sheriff’s Office (.31)

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

A DWI is No Holiday

There's more than one way to be under the influence behind the wheel.

• Alcohol, illegal drug use or prescription medications can cause impairment, but so can common over-the-counter drugs, such as cold, flu, sleep and allergy medicines.

• Drugs like antidepressants, opioids and sleep aids prescribed by a doctor can affect your ability to drive safely as well.

Sobering Statistics

• The choice to drive drunk has contributed to 26 deaths on Minnesota roads from the day before Thanksgiving through Dec. 30 (2016-2020).

• More than one of every five deaths (21 percent) on Minnesota roads is drunk driving-related.

• There were 397 drunk driving-related traffic deaths in Minnesota in the last five years, with 79 people killed in 2020 alone.

• Alcohol-related crashes not only take lives, they change them forever. An average of 384 life-changing injuries (2016-2020) are caused by alcohol-related crashes each year.

• Drugged driving incidents accounted for 6,269 incidents from 2011-2015 compared with 12,883 from 2016-2020. That’s a 106 percent increase over a five year period.

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.

• Insurance rates could increase significantly.

Planning Ahead. Driving Smart. Preventing Tragedy.

• Plan for a safe ride — no matter where you plan to drink, designate a sober driver, use a safe, alternative transportation option, or stay at the location of the celebration. No excuses.

• Speak up – offer to be a designated driver or be available to pick up a loved one anytime, anywhere. If you see an impaired person about to get behind the wheel, get them a safe ride home.

• Buckle up — wearing a seat belt is the best defense against an impaired driver.

• Report drunk driving — call 911 when witnessing impaired driving behavior. Be prepared to provide location, license plate number and observed dangerous behavior.

Resources

• DPS Video: Life without Lindsay: Sober Driving Matters

• DPS Video: Locked Up: A DWI Booking

Remembering Lives Lost on Minnesota Roads

DPS is scrolling the names of fatal crash victims at dps.mn.gov, a somber reminder of lives lost due to decisions such as driving impaired, not wearing a seat belt, speeding and distracted driving. Their deaths were preventable. Minnesotans can prevent tragedy for themselves and others by planning a sober ride, buckling up, obeying the speed limit and paying attention.

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