February traffic fatalities down from last year; DWI arrests increased

Published 6:51 am Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Challenging winter weather driving conditions made February a difficult time on Minnesota roads; however, the number of traffic fatalities decreased slightly from February 2018.

According to the Minnesota Department of Safety (MNDPS), there were 16 fatal crashes and 18 fatalities in February compared with 17 fatal crashes and 19 fatalities last February.

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Of the 18 fatalities:

  • One person died in a distracted driving-related crash;
  • Two people died in speed-related crashes;
  • Four people died in alcohol-related crashes;
  • Four people died who were not wearing seatbelts;
  • 11 were men, seven were women; and
  • Two were pedestrians.

Preliminary MNDPS numbers show 45 people have been killed in traffic crashes in 2019, compared with 41 last year.

This February, 1,974 motorists were arrested for DWI, compared with 1,996 in February 2018.

DWI arrests increased during January and February of this year with 4,113 motorists arrested for DWI so far, compared with 3,967 this time last year.

According to available statistics, the Minnesota State Patrol has seen a record number of squads hit this February. The 15 squads hit so far in February are the most in any month of any year on record and compares with two hit last February and two hit in February 2017.