St. Patrick's Day DWI arrests up roughly 15 percent


The Minnesota Department of Public Safety reported Monday that about 400 people were arrested Saturday and Sunday for DWI, up from 346 arrests during St. Patrick's Day weekend last year, WCCO reports.

This year marked the highest number of DWI arrests on St Patrick's Day Weekend in the last five years in Minnesota, Northlands NewsCenter reported.

That number has increased steadily each year in the last five. KSTP has the breakdown:

346 in 2012 (Saturday)
287 in 2011 (Thursday)
225 in 2010 (Wednesday)
218 in 2009 (Tuesday)
165 in 2008 (Monday)

For a bit of comparison, there were 103 DWIs over the Thanksgiving holiday. At least 300 were arrested on New Year's Eve/New Year's Day, the Star Tribune reported.

About 30,000 people are arrested each year in the state for DWI, KSTP notes. In the past five years, 651 people have been killed in drunken-driving crashes, KSTP reports.

KEYC in Mankato rode along with a state trooper who says that one thing drunken drivers often have in common is poor planning. "Don't make your plans when you're impaired or intoxicated at the end of the night," Trooper Gabe Cornish told the station. "Make a plan ahead of time."

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Minnesota State Patrol arrests 43 impaired drivers following St. Patrick's Day celebrations

WCCO reports about half of those taken into custody were in the Twin Cities metro. Lt. Eric Roeske says troopers arrested 35 people for DWI during this time last year.