Fifteen people were arrested for drunken driving by the State Patrol Wednesday night – and that's just in the Twin Cities, according to a tweet from Minnesota State Patrol Sgt. Jesse Grabow.
Those arrests come during the first day of statewide crackdown on drunken driving. More than 300 agencies across the state are participating in the extra enforcement campaign that runs through the holiday season. (The number of drunken driving arrests made Wednesday by agencies other than the State Patrol have not been released.)
The Wednesday before Thanksgiving is typically the busiest bar night of the year, AAA tweeted. And Thanksgiving weekend is known to be one of the worst holidays for drinking and driving in Minnesota.
Minnesota Department of Public Safety figures show DWI-related driving deaths are 53 percent higher over the Thanksgiving period compared to non-holiday times of the year.
And with Christmas seeing the second most DWI-related deaths, the enhanced DWI enforcement will continue over weekends for the next six weeks, ending on Jan. 2.
Last year, 25,258 motorists – that's 70 a day – were arrested in Minnesota for drunken driving. Alcohol is a factor for one in every four deaths on Minnesota roads.
Hennepin County, followed by Anoka and Ramsey counties, were recently named the most dangerous for drunken driving, according to the state Department of Public Safety.