A drunken patron came out of an Uptown bar around closing time last month and had the misfortune of driving her vehicle into a fire truck.
And then she backed into a police car.
The 28-year-old woman’s arrest was among the 2,353 made as part of a statewide enforcement campaign that spanned from the Thanksgiving holiday weekend all the way to New Year’s, according to data released this week by the state Department of Public Safety (DPS).
Silver lining: That total is roughly 15% below the previous year’s tally of 2,757 and the lowest since the late-year enforcement effort began in 2014.
Along with the numbers, DPS highlighted some of the more remarkable circumstances leading to arrest.
Shortly before 2 a.m. on Dec. 28, Asha D. Willis got in her vehicle without a valid license to leave the VFW Post in the 2900 block of S. Lyndale Avenue in Minneapolis but didn’t get far, according to authorities. First, Willis struck a parked fire truck, then shifted into reverse only to hit a police squad car, according to the felony drunken-driving charges.
The south Minneapolis resident was taken to jail and given a preliminary breath test that registered her blood alcohol content at 0.24%, three times the legal limit for driving in Minnesota, the charges continued. She has three drunken-driving convictions on her record. A message was left with Willis seeking her response to the allegations.
Also among the late 2019 arrests were two involving motorists who allegedly topped the blood alcohol content list at 0.40%, which is five times the legal limit for driving in Minnesota:
• Aaron M. Evans caught the attention of police early in the evening of Dec. 13 after his car drifted into a lane on N. Penn Avenue near 29th Avenue in Minneapolis, sideswiped a squad car and kept going, according to charges.
The officer caught up to the Minneapolis man and detected obvious signs of drunkenness and the odor of marijuana, the charges continued, which also noted that he was driving at the time on a suspended license.
• Around midday on Dec. 10 in Montevideo, the State Patrol pulled over a motorist on Hwy. 7 after law enforcement received two complaints about the suspect’s driving. The patrol was withholding that motorist’s name pending charges.
State law enforcers reiterated these options to driving after drinking too much: recruit a sober driver; order up a ride from Lyft, Uber or a cab; stay put and sober up.
The annual Thanksgiving-to-New Year’s enhanced enforcement and education efforts are coordinated through the DPS’ Office of Traffic Safety with overtime paid for with federal money from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.