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

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

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

Screen Shot 2021-05-12 at 10.04.32 PM

Number of suicides in Minnesota decreased in 2020

While the number dropped, 723 people still died by suicide last year.

Vikings fans, U.S. Bank Stadium

Ranking the most difficult games in the Vikings' 2021 schedule

The Vikings have some interesting matchups on their 17-game slate.

Spencer Silver

Chemist who co-invented Post-it Notes dies at home in St. Paul

He developed an adhesive that could stick to paper – repeatedly – without damaging the paper.

Danielle Hunter

Here is the official 2021 Minnesota Vikings schedule

How does an early January game at Lambeau Field sound?

Blake Bortles

Amid Aaron Rodgers drama, Packers reportedly sign Blake Bortles

The former No. 3 overall pick is headed to Green Bay.

You Houa Thao

Missing St. Paul man found dead in wooded area

The 73-year-old was reported missing May 8.

YouTube - Jim Klobuchar

Jim Klobuchar, celebrated Minnesota columnist, dies at 93

He died Wednesday after a battle with Alzheimer's.

Jerry Burns

Former Vikings head coach Jerry Burns dies at 94

Burns spent a total of 24 seasons with the Vikings as an offensive coordinator and head coach.


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

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

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.

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

It was her second DWI offense in the last year.

Man arrested for DWI in Twin Cities twice within 7 hours

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