DWI arrests drop 31% during extra summer patrols

Published 5:16 pm Friday, September 17, 2021

Officers, deputies and troopers in Minnesota arrested 1,147 drivers for driving impaired during the Labor Day DWI campaign from Aug. 20 through Sept. 6, according to the Minnesota Department of Public Safety Office of Traffic Safety (DPS-OTS).

That number is a 31% decrease from 2020, which saw 1,649 DWI arrests during the same period.

More than 300 law enforcement agencies across Minnesota participated in the DWI campaign, which included extra patrols, awareness and education, coordinated by the DPS-OTS.

During the campaign, 12 agencies reported arresting people for DWI with a blood-alcohol concentration of 0.3 or higher. The highest was reported by the Spring Lake Park Police Department, who arrested a driver with a blood-alcohol concentration of 0.37, over four times the legal limit.

During the three month summer period (June-August), law enforcement across the state cited 6,611 drivers for DWI compared with 6,243 during the same period in 2020 and 7,773 in 2019.

Preliminary numbers from the DPS-OTS show 327 fatalities on Minnesota roads in 2021 compared with 258 reported this time last year, a 27% increase.