The Minnesota Department of Public Safety Office of Traffic Safety just released the results of its DWI enforcement campaign for the Holiday season.
It revealed a 10 percent rise in DWI arrests during the holiday season compared to the same period in 2016.
How many are we talking?
From Nov. 22-Dec. 31, officers, state troopers and deputies across Minnesota made 2,656 arrests for driving impaired. This compares to 2,407 a year earlier.
The highest blood alcohol content in a single driver was recorded in Coon Rapids, where someone registered a BAC of .492 (the legal limit for driving is 0.08).
The most arrests were made by the State Patrol's Oakdale district, which pulled over 176 driving impaired drivers, followed by the State Patrol's Golden Valley district, where 160 were arrested.
Outside of the Twin Cities, the most arrests were made by State Patrol deputies in Rochester (68), Duluth (47) and Mankato (38).
There were some spectacularly dumb offenders
Along with the figures, the traffic safety office released a few examples of DWI arrests that featured particularly foolish perpetrators.
These recklessly dangerous incidents include:
– A driver arrested in Fairmont for DWI on Christmas Eve was driving on the wrong side of the road. She was arrested again for DWI on New Year's Eve, and was again driving on the wrong side of the road.
– In St. James, 2 hours after a driver was arrested for DWI, his passenger was arrested driving to pick his friend up from the police station.
– One drunk driver was arrested while trying to pull another drunk driver out of a snowbank in Thief River Falls.
– A driver who refused a breath test was still drunk the next day, recording a 0.24 BAC reading just before he was due to appear before a judge.
– A driver was stopped for DWI in Onamia with children aged 4 and 7 in the vehicle.
– One drunk driver entered the Olmsted County Parks fishing area, hitting some rocks and going airborne into the lake.
– A drunk woman driving more than 100mph side-swiped another vehicle.
But 2017 was a safer year overall
Despite the rise in drunk-driving over the Holiday period, 2017 saw the fewest road deaths in more than 70 years.
There were 348 fatalities on the roads last year, the lowest seen since 1943.
But of these fatal crashes, alcohol was the most common cause – contributing to 98 of the deaths.