The pandemic isn’t over yet, but you wouldn’t know that by looking at the DWI numbers across Minnesota during this year’s holiday enforcement campaign.
Minnesota police announced that they arrested 2,037 drivers over the holiday DWI campaign, which ran from November 24th through December 31. That number represents a stark increase from last year when 1,383 drivers were booked for DWI during the same stretch. In fact, the 2021 holiday arrest numbers are closer to the pre-pandemic levels we saw in 2019, when 2,353 drivers were booked for DWI between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve.
Officials were surprised by the spike in DWI arrests for a number of reasons. For starters, we’re still in the midst of the pandemic where large in-person gatherings are still a bit iffy, and because drivers knew well in advance that officers would be conducting extra DWI patrols throughout the holiday stretch.
“We’re still seeing impaired drivers on the roadway,” said Sgt. Troy Christianson of the Minnesota State Patrol. “We need to continue to educate the public on the importance of designated drivers.”
Interesting Holiday DWIs
As is tradition with these extended DWI enforcement campaigns, police oftentimes share some of the more interesting DWI arrests they deal with throughout their watch. Here’s a snapshot of some of the more curious holiday DWI arrests and other data from the campaign:
- A 19-year-old male stated that he was distracted while trying to find Christmas music, which is why he blew a stop sign and hit a tree. His blood alcohol content was 0.19.
- An 18-year old allegedly under the influence of alcohol and marijuana stated he was out “joyriding” when he crashed into a house.
- A 30-year-old woman, upset that her pizza wasn’t ready yet, sped away from a Domino’s pizza place only to roll her SUV about a mile away, according to charges filed in Ramsey County District Court.
- The Oakdale police district made the most DWI arrests during the campaign, with 109 arrests, slightly outpacing the St. Paul Police Department, which made 107 such arrests.
So while one DWI enforcement campaign has come to an end, another one is on the horizon. Sgt. Christianson noted that the next extra DWI enforcement will come on Super Bowl Sunday, which falls on February 13th this year, and he gave two words of warning to anyone who plans on ringing in the Super Bowl with alcohol.
If you or someone you know is facing a DWI charge after getting caught in the campaign, or if you need legal help for another issue, reach out to Avery and the team at Appelman Law Firm today at (952) 224-2277.