Young people, most of them young men, are responsible for more than half of the impaired driving violations in Minnesota last year.
The 2015 Minnesota Impaired Driving Facts report (from the Department of Public Safety) was released Thursday. It takes a detailed look at violations, crashes, deaths and other incidents on Minnesota’s roads involving an impaired person (generally alcohol or drugs).
We’ll get into some of the specifics about who’s responsible below, but there’s one number you should keep in mind: 25,027.
That’s the total number of impaired driving incidents during 2015 (which is a drop from the year before).
Why should you care? Impaired driving kills people.
Last year, 411 people died in crashes on Minnesota roads, and of those, 137 involved any amount of alcohol (and that could be the driver of the car involved, or even a pedestrian who had been drinking and was struck and killed).
There were 95 fatalities in cases where the driver was over the legal alcohol limit (that’s above 0.08).
Another 2,203 people had serious injuries from an alcohol-related crash.
Here’s a look at some of the more interesting findings:
Do better, young people
People ages 20 to 34 years old accounted for more than half of all impaired driving incidents in 2015.
So of the 25,027 total incidents, 13,342 of the culprits (that’s 53 percent) were in that age group.
Note that if you’re under 21, driving with any alcohol in your system – not just above the legal limit of 0.08 – is considered a violation.
It’s usually men
Most of the people getting in trouble for impaired driving are men.
There are 2,237 incidents where the gender of the driver isn’t known, so we’ll exclude those. So of the 22,790 incidents where we now the person’s gender, 16,422 were male and 6,368 were female.
Essentially, 7 out of every 10 people who got violations were men.
Nights and weekends are bad times
This is not super surprising, but nights and weekends are most commonly associated with impaired driving.
About half of all of 2015’s violations came on Saturday or Sunday.
And that trend continued for when people were killed in drunken driving crashes. The report says 45 percent of all drunken driving fatalities came on a Saturday or Sunday. Thursday was actually third, with 14 percent.
The report actually breaks down fatal drunken driving crashes by hour – most happened at night, logically. But from 9 a.m. to noon, there was not a single death due to drunken driving.
Just over half happened in the Twin Cities
About 3 million people live in the seven-county Twin Cities metro area. That’s just over 55 percent of the 5.4 million people total who live in the state.
The impaired driving numbers actually kind of reflect that.
51.8 percent of all impaired driving incidents came in those Twin Cities counties (Anoka, Carver, Dakota, Hennepin, Ramsey, Scott Washington). While the remaining 48.2 percent came in Greater Minnesota.
Not a single county had zero impaired driving incidents last year. The lowest figure was Treverse County with seven (which is also one of the least-populated counties).