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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. 

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