Skip to main content

10 frightening drunk-driving stories from Thanksgiving weekend on Minnesota roads

Minnesota's Department of Public Safety revealed some scary incidents.

Nearly 500 people were arrested for DWI during Thanksgiving weekend, according to statistics by the Minnesota Department of Public Safety (DPS). 

According to the data, 480 people were arrested for DWI from Nov. 21 through 6 a.m. Monday, Nov. 26. The total is down from last year's 490 but up from 2016 (448) and 2015 (468). There were also 733 crashes during the period, including four fatalities and 25 serious injury crashes. 

Three of the four people killed were involved in alcohol-related crashes. 

Those are the hard stats, but the DPS also revealed stories of the most dangerous encounters police and state troopers had with drunk drivers. 

1. Squad car nearly hit

Crystal police arrested a 26-year-old woman for DWI after she ran a red light and almost hit a police car. 

2. Driving with a .34 BAC

In the northern Minnesota town of Deer River, a 37-year-old man was cuffed for a DWI with a blood alcohol content of .37, which is more than 4 1/2 times the legal limit. Police say he was parked in a driveway flashing the headlights on and off and had an open bottle and a mixed drink in the vehicle. 

3. Teenagers in a church parking lot

Eden Prairie police arrested a 17-year-old male who blew a .11 BAC. He was in a church parking lot with four passengers in the vehicle, including two 18-year-olds who were cited for underage consumption and illegal drugs. Police say three of the four passengers were about to get into their own vehicles and drive. 

4. Sober driver was actually drunk

Eden Prairie police arrested a 21-year-old woman with a BAC of .13. She told police that she was driving because the passenger in the car was "too drunk" to drive. 

5. Drunk with toddler in the car

In Shakopee, a 32-year-old woman was more than three times the legal limit (.27 BAC) with a 3-year-old child in the car. It was a her third DWI in 10 years. 

6. Drunk dad with entire family in the car

A 35-year-old man was arrested by South St. Paul police for driving drunk with (.12 BAC) with his wife and five kids in the car. 

7. Driver smoking weed with teens

Minnesota State Patrol pulled over a vehicle for a headlight out and found that the 33-year-old female driver had smoked marijuana with her 17-year-old nephew and his 17-year-old girlfriend. The driver also admitted to using meth 48 hours earlier. It's not clear where this happened. 

8. Meth and a history of DWIs

State troopers stopped a driver who was in possession of meth with a child in the vehicle, and the driver has five DWIs on their record. It's unclear where this happened. 

9. Drunk driver showing off for his kids

St. Paul police arrested a 40-year-old man who was stopped for going 78 mph in a 30 mph zone. Not only that, but he was driving drunk with a BAC of .14, and there were three kids in the car, ages 10, 14 and 15. The driver, who was arrested for DWI in 2016, told police that he was showing off for his kids. 

10. Too drunk to stand but driving with a kid in the car

A 61-year-old man driving with a child in the car was arrested and taken to the hospital by the Minnesota State Patrol. The trooper said it was the first time he needed to call an ambulance for someone who was simply drunk. The man had a .34 BAC and wasn't able to stand or walk. It's not clear where this incident took place. 

Next Up


Two youths seriously injured after being struck by driver in Bloomington

Police say the boy is in a critical condition, while the girl has severe injuries.

Rosedale Center

Two men sentenced for carjacking in Rosedale Center parking lot

Leon Kismit Bell, 49, and Jack Mitchell Piche, 23, were sentenced in U.S. District Court on Jan. 20.

Screen Shot 2023-01-27 at 3.59.30 PM

Police identify White Bear Lake officer shot while serving warrant

The officer is a six-year veteran of the department.

abortion, planned parenthood

Minnesota Senate passes bill codifying abortion into state law

Having already passed in the House, it will now be sent to Gov. Tim Walz for signing into law.

Screen Shot 2023-01-27 at 7.45.44 PM

Tyre Nichols: Initial police version of events bear similarities to George Floyd killing

Memphis PD said Nichols complained of 'shortness of breath' following 'confrontations' with police, who in reality violently beat him.

George Floyd, protest

Twin Cities authorities preparing for community reaction to Tyre Nichols video

The ATF division in St. Paul sent out an alert out of "an abundance of caution."

Screen Shot 2023-01-27 at 2.12.05 PM

Changes at K102's Chris Carr & Company, with Sam Sansevere joining as co-host

She is the daughter of former KQRS morning show personality Bob Sansevere.

Screen Shot 2023-01-27 at 1.16.21 PM

Minneapolis' Royal Foundry Craft Spirits announces closure

The distillery set out to infuse the Minneapolis craft cocktail scene with British flavor.


Shutterfly to cut almost 100 jobs at Shakopee facility

The layoffs are expected to impact multiple positions within the company.


Charges: Serial drunk-driver plowed into crowd outside St. Paul restaurant

Three people were hit, including a woman who was pinned against the building.

Charges: Woman was driving drunk with 2 kids in back seat

It was her second DWI offense in the last year.

Elizabeth Renee Jacobson

Drunk driver who killed deputy's wife is charged with 2 more DWIs

The 34-year-old woman was arrested following a pursuit on June 18.

Man arrested for DWI in Twin Cities twice within 7 hours

He was arrested for driving drunk in Plymouth and Eden Prairie.