One Twin Cities motorist with a blood alcohol content more than five times the legal limit was the most severely impaired among the more than 2,700 drivers caught in a statewide crackdown during a nearly five-week period late last year.
The enforcement effort spanned from Nov. 21, just before Thanksgiving, to Dec. 29 and included more than 300 law enforcement agencies across Minnesota.
The total of 2,757 arrests for impaired driving was about 100 higher than for the same period a year ago, according to the state Department of Public Safety (DPS).
The DPS highlighted several incidents of drunken driving with remarkable circumstances:
• In Blue Earth County, a drunken driver hit multiple guardrails and went into a ditch. Four days later, on Christmas, she was arrested in Goodhue County for driving drunk.
• In Crosslake, police stopped a drunken driver going 108 miles per hour.
• In Minneapolis, police arrested a man for his 11th drunken-driving charge and a woman for her 12th.
• In Minnetonka, an officer's squad car was hit by a drunken driver, and another officer arrested a drunken driver who had an 11-year-old as a passenger.
The state agency also revealed 10 arrests involving motorists whose blood alcohol content was at least 0.30 percent. The legal limit in Minnesota is .08 percent.
At the top was a 29-year-old woman who crashed her SUV on the University of Minnesota campus on the night of Dec. 15. Kristen M. Frey, of Eden Prairie, struck a concrete barrier near the light-rail line along 25th Avenue SE., and her severely damaged vehicle ended up on the eastbound side of the tracks, according to a university police report.
A preliminary breath test soon after the wreck measured Frey's blood alcohol content at 0.41 percent, the report continued. A police search of the vehicle turned up seven empty Fireball whiskey bottles and five empty beer cans, one of them in the driver's cup holder.
Frey was arrested, later released from jail and is due back in court Friday on charges of gross-misdemeanor drunken driving and misdemeanor careless driving. She has two previous drunken-driving arrests on her record. Frey declined to comment Wednesday about the latest case.
The police report listed Frey's weight as 140 pounds. For a woman of her weight, she would need to consume more than 13 alcoholic drinks over a three-hour period to reach that degree of intoxication, according to a major insurance company's online calculator.