Despite our best efforts to keep Minnesota residents from getting a DWI, approximately 400 people were arrested for driving under the influence during the holiday weekend.
According to data from the Minnesota Department of Public Safety, the number of DWI arrests hovered around 400 for Saturday and Sunday, and one traffic fatality was reported. Authorities have not said whether alcohol was a factor in the crash.
The number represents a disturbing trend, as this year marks the sixth straight year that Minnesota has seen DWI arrests increase in connection with St. Patrick’s Day. While some people say the increase in arrests was due to St. Patrick’s Day falling on a Sunday, or because there was a heightened police presence, many news outlets warned partiers that more cops would be on the lookout for drunk drivers.
Criminal Defense attorney Stacy Kaye said increased patrols are becoming more popular throughout the state.
“DWI patrols have been increased in general lately, and that this will likely continue through the warm weather season,” said Kaye. “DWI specific patrols can be very effective during holiday weekends and evenings, because the odds that any given driver they stop is intoxicated go way up.”
These 400 people now face the harsh reality of their decision to get behind the wheel. A first time DWI violation is punishable by up to 90 days in jail and a minimum $300 fine, and the troubles only get worse if you’ve had a previous conviction.
Although we don’t condone drinking and driving, we’ve put together a DUI Information Card that tells you what to do if an officer suspects that you are driving under the influence. You’ll still face some consequences if you are arrested for suspicion of DUI, but the information can put you in a better position to fight the charge.
The next major holiday for increase DWI patrols is the 4th of July, but police may put a greater emphasis on watching for suspected drunk drivers on a day-to-day basis now that the MDPS stats have been released. As always, plan ahead is you know you are going to be drinking and driving.
Related source: Minnesota Department of Public Safety