Publish date:

Statewide Thanksgiving DWIs top last year's number

143 people were arrested for alleged drunk driving across Minnesota.

As promised, law enforcement agencies in Minnesota ramped up DWI enforcement for Thanksgiving, and sure enough, they found no shortage of drunk drivers to bust. 

There were 143 DWI arrests across the state between midnight and 6 a.m. on Thanksgiving, a tweet from the Minnesota Department of Public Safety (DPS) says:

Compare that to a similar tweet made at the same time last year, which said 137 people had been arrested for DWI on Thanksgiving.

This time period – that is, the night before Turkey Day into the morning of – is referred to as "Blackout Wednesday," and is considered "one of the most dangerous nights on the road in the state," DPS says.

The slight rise in drunk-driving busts on Thurday is despite an overall downward trend of DWI incidents in Minnesota. 

According to DPS, there were 24,862 DWI arrests in 2017 – which sounds like a lot (and it is), but actually reflects a 31 percent decrease over the last 10 years.

The department credits "education, enhanced enforcement and awareness" as having helped chip away at drunk driving.

Increased enforcement continues

Thanksgiving may be over, but the statewide crackdown on impaired driving is not. 

The campaign will carry through to Dec. 29, with 300 law enforcement agencies across the state participating, a DPS news release says.

Last year, the holiday enforcement campaign netted ​2,717 arrests – a significant uptick from the ​2,271 in 2016. 

Next Up

Foreman tl - Flug-Presley tr - Sturm bl - Pettus br - Go Fund Me and Facebook

Mystery surrounds discovery of 4 MN friends found dead in SUV

Here's what is known about the case so far — and what questions remains.

Screen Shot 2021-09-16 at 9.21.25 AM

Mpls. school moves to virtual learning due to homeless encampment on grounds

The Volunteers of America School says some students will work remotely, while others work at alternative sites.

storm, severe weather

Severe weather Thursday: Here's what the NWS is saying

If storms can get going during daylight hours, they might be nasty.

John Thompson

Rep. John Thompson to serve as independent after ousting by House DFL

Thompson has been involved in multiple controversies following a July 4 traffic stop.


Chisholm school sends some grades home due to COVID-19 outbreak

Elementary students at Vaughan-Steffensrud are subject to the outbreak.

Kirk Cousins

Kirk Cousins needs to let it fly against the Cardinals

An aggressive approach could ensure a win in the desert.

Minneapolis police

Shooting Wednesday marks 7th homicide in 7 days in Minneapolis

The latest shooting happened just before noon Wednesday.


Pedestrian, 34, dies after being struck by semi-trailer on Hwy. 12

The State Patrol says the pedestrian was standing in the lane when he was struck by the semi.

Charpenter injury ATV Go Fund Me

ATV rider nearly killed after being impaled in neck by large stick

The stick was 1.5 inches in diameter and went 6-7 inches into his body.

covid, schools

COVID-19: 153 cases linked to State Fair; school cases rapidly growing

More than 1,100 school-related cases were reported Monday and Tuesday combined.

pixabay coffee waffles

MN restaurant faces $98K fine amid fallout from pandemic violations

The coffee and waffle shop has continued to operate despite not having a license.


Daniel Thomas House

Man arrested for 19th DWI; he was going the wrong way on I-35

The man has 11 drunk driving arrests in Minnesota and eight in Wisconsin.

10 scary drunk-driving stories from Thanksgiving weekend

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

Man arrested for DWI in Twin Cities twice within 7 hours

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