New report: DWI fatalities dipped slightly last year

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Minnesota had 104 drunken driving-related fatalities last year, which accounted for 26 percent of Minnesota's total 395 traffic fatalities, according to new state figures. That was a slight dip compared to 111 driving-while-intoxicated fatalities from the previous year.

But there were plenty of startling numbers in a new report released Monday by state road safety officials, including this: 585 people have died in DWI-related crashes in Minnesota in the past five years.

The report notes that more than 28,000 drivers were arrested in alcohol-related traffic incidents. Of those arrested on suspicion of DWI, 73 percent were male, and 42 percent of those arrested were ages 20–29, according to the state data.

FOX 9 pulled a few interesting numbers out of the report:

– 28,418 drivers were arrested for DWI, an average of 78 per day

– 35,736 drivers were arrested for DWI in 2008

– 11,474 of the 2012 arrests had at least one prior DWI

– 76 percent of DWI arrests resulted in a criminal conviction

– 74 percent of drinking drivers killed were not wearing seat belts

Among the state's most recent DWI-related incidents: A Bemidji woman faces a charge of criminal vehicular homicide in connection with a Sunday morning crash that killed the passenger of a motorcycle, the Bemidji Pioneer reports.

State highway officials are conducting an intensive campaign targeting DWI offenders through Labor Day.

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