Skip to main content

Drunken driving arrests over the holidays returned to pre-pandemic levels in 2021.

Authorities made 2,037 DWI arrests during the state's extra enforcement campaign from Nov. 24-Dec. 31, 2021, the Minnesota Department of Public Safety said Wednesday. 

That's several hundred more than the 1,383 people who were arrested during the 2020 campaign, though is less than the 2,353 who were arrested between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day in 2019, data show. 

During the enforcement period in 2021, there were five alcohol-related traffic deaths and four injuries. That's fewer than in 2020, when there were 11 alcohol-related traffic fatalities and eight injuries. 

In 2019, there were nine alcohol-related deaths on Minnesota roads and five injuries over the holiday period. 

During the 2021 enforcement campaign, law enforcement agencies reported blood-alcohol concentrations of drivers as high as 0.4, which is five times the legal limit of 0.08. Two drivers had BCAs that high, while at least three drivers had BCAs of 0.35 or above. 

The Minnesota Department of Safety detailed some of the drunken driving incidents from this recent extra enforcement period. Among them: 

— An Austin police officer arrested a mom for DWI as she was picking up her kids from daycare. DPS says a concerned family member called police, who arrested the mom when she was putting her kids in the car. Her BAC was 0.20.

— St. Paul police arrested a 30-year-old woman who was angry her pizza wasn't ready when she arrived. She then sped away and rolled her SUV. Her BAC was 0.156. 

— St. Francis police arrested a 31-year-old woman who had a 2-year-old in the backseat, sitting next to their carseat. DPS did not provide a BAC. 

—St. Francis police arrested a man for DWI after he drove through a house, causing $50,000 in damage. 

— Rogers police arrested a driver who was swerving and hit a barrier. An officer had to get in the vehicle and put it into park to get the car to stop. The driver had a BAC of 0.28.

— Rogers police arrested a man who was wearing one shoe who pulled up to a random house and rang the doorbell. His BAC was 0.21.

Note: The details provided in this story are based on the law enforcement's latest version of events, and may be subject to change.

Next Up


Cities prepare for release of footage showing Tyre Nichols' fatal arrest by Memphis PD

Minneapolis Police Chief Brian O'Hara issued a statement on the incident Thursday.

DeShaun Hill

Cody Fohrenkam found guilty of Deshaun Hill Jr.'s murder

The 15-year-old was fatally shot on Feb. 9, 2022.

Screen Shot 2023-01-26 at 12.15.23 PM

Gov. Tim Walz proposes $3.3B for aging infrastructure

Walz's borrowing plan comes days after the release of his two-year state budget proposal.

Screen Shot 2023-01-26 at 8.43.35 AM

Children's Theatre Company actors lose belongings in damaging house fire

The fire broke out Tuesday morning shortly after the dryer had been started.

Flickr - Superior National Forest Boundary Waters

Biden Admin. imposes 20-year mining ban near Boundary Waters

The moratorium is the maximum the Department of the Interior can implement without congressional approval.


Historic St. Paul building to be removed, put in storage after public outcry

The building was set to be demolished before community members spoke out against it.


Screen Shot 2022-11-25 at 9.29.58 AM

Extremely drunk driver arrested in Chaska

The driver was more than four times the legal limit.

driving unsplash - crop

Hastings man charged for driving drunk with 2-year-old in vehicle

Matthew Quade's BAC was almost five times over the legal limit when police pulled him over last week.

11 people arrested for DWIs over the holidays were 4 times the limit

A BAC this high is like having more than 10 drinks if you're a 175-pound man.

stolen SUV crop

Parent grabs child out of car during carjacking; 3 teens arrested

The stolen vehicle was used in at least two other robberies on Tuesday.

vehicle car

5 vehicles stolen in fewer than 24 hours in Golden Valley

Police are reminding people not to leave their car unattended when it's running.

crime scene tape - police tape

Suspect in fatal hit-and-run of Blaine dog walker arrested

The woman was airlifted and died at the hospital.