174 arrested statewide on suspicion of DWI on New Year's Eve

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Minnesota reported 174 drunken driving arrests on New Year's Eve across the state, Minnesota State Patrol Lt. Tiffani Nielson said, which is down a bit from last year:

The number compares to 185 arrests made last month on so-called “Blackout Wednesday,” the day before Thanksgiving, one of the biggest drinking days of the year and considered among the most dangerous on the roads.

WCCO reports that more than 22,000 people were arrested for DWI in 2014, and in the last three years, 279 people were killed by drunk drivers in Minnesota.

Despite those stats, state safety officials are hopeful that drinking and driving is on the decline in Minnesota.

Earlier in December, figures from the Minnesota State Patrol showed that 21 percent fewer people had been arrested in 2014 for driving while intoxicated, compared to the same time in 2013.

Detroit Lakes Online noted that Minnesota DWI arrests have gone down every year since 2006. In 2006, law enforcement officers arrested 41,951 drivers in Minnesota for DWI. The 2013 numbers statewide dropped to 25,719, which was the lowest in Minnesota history.

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