A woman with a .45 percent blood-alcohol concentration was arrested for drunken driving when police in Freeborn County found her passed out in her car with the engine running in the driveway of a state trooper.
The woman was one of 2,537 motorists arrested in Minnesota during a holiday DWI enforcement period that ran between Thanksgiving and New Year's Eve.
Preliminary numbers from the Minnesota Department of Public Safety show that 84 more drivers arrested on Minnesota roads than during a similar campaign last year when law enforcement cited 2,453 drivers. But for the year, total number of DWI arrests during 2014 declined to 24,159 from the 25,719 reported in 2013 and 28,418 in 2012. It marked the eighth straight year that the number of DWI arrests declined.
Still, driving drunk is a problem on Minnesota roads.
"Drunk driving is a choice, a choice that can have life-altering consequences for you or other on the roads," said Donna Berger, director of the DPS' Office of Traffic Safety. "Even though we are encouraged by declining DWI numbers, one drunk driver is one too many."
In Minnesota, the legal BAC limit to operate a motor vehicle is .08 percent. The woman arrested in Freeborn County was more than five times above that. Statewide numbers show that 16 drivers had BAC levels at .30 percent or higher.
"Some might call it unlucky to pass out drunk in the driveway of a trooper, but this woman is very fortunate that she didn't injure or kill herself or another motorist," said Lt. Tiffani Nielson of the Minnesota State Patrol.
Polce arrested 303 drivers for DWI on theSaturday before Christmas, Dec. 20, the most of any day during the six-week campaign. The State Patrol's east metro district had the most arrests with 168 during the campaign, followed by 153 in the west metro and 100 by the Minneapolis Police Department.
In greater Minnesota, the top arresting agencies were the State Patrol's Rochester district with 44, the St. Cloud district with 43 and the Stearns County Sheriff's Office with 37. To see where drivers where arrested, click here.
Police also wrote 2,093 tickets to motorists who were not wearing their seat belt.