July 4 is the deadliest day of the year on Minnesota roads, and there were stepped-up law enforcement patrols around the state Thursday, but those factors didn't stop drunken drivers from taking their chances.
Officers pulled over more than a few of the suspected offenders, the Department of Public Safety tweeted:
That's high compared to an average day. In 2011, there were an average of about 81 per day, the state reported. For further comparison: An intense, one-day statewide DWI crackdown on a Friday in May netted 160 DWI arrests.
It has not yet been determined to what extent drinking contributed to July 4 crashes this year around the state. In the last five years, there have been 29 deaths during the several days that make up the official July 4 holiday travel period – 19 of which were drunk-driving related, state safety officials have said.
The state is above last year’s pace for road deaths. Midway through the year, there have been 154 traffic deaths, an increase from 145 at this time in 2012, state officials say.