Officers across the state cracked the whip on drunken driving this summer, making more than 1,350 DWI arrests during its late summer extra enforcement campaign.
Among them was a motorist who slammed into a firetruck and several squad cars in Two Harbors while fleeing the scene of a crash and an individual in Hutchinson who got stuck while attempting to drive through a roundabout.
“Most drunk drivers arrested are first-time offenders who won’t get arrested again, but even the first DWI can be costly and deadly,” said Donna Berger, Office of Traffic Safety director. “People can overestimate their driving skills and think they’re OK to drive after drinking.”
They’re simply wrong, she said.
The campaign, which ran from Aug. 19 through Sept. 5, included 300 participating agencies around the state. Several departments caught drivers with a BAC over .32 — four times the legal limit of .08 percent.
Offenders faced consequences ranging from the loss of license for up to a year, to thousands of dollars in fines to jail time.
During a similar enforcement between Thanksgiving and New Year’s, police slapped 2,502 motorists with DWI citations.
While impaired driving incidents have been trending down for nearly a decade, they remain a significant concern on state roads, accounting for more than 25,000 citations in 2015, the most recent year available.
This summer, the Minnesota State Patrol’s two metro districts made the most arrests, accounting for 156. Minneapolis police reported 26 arrests, while St. Paul had 25 and Eden Prairie 21 in the annual crackdown, according to state officials.
In Greater Minnesota, the State Patrol’s Rochester district led the way with 40 arrests, followed Rochester city police with 21.