While the number of DWI arrests is down in most Minnesota counties, recent figures revealed by the Minnesota Department of Public Safety revealed that incidents of driving while impaired in Lake County are up. In 2010, there were 72 drunk drivers arrested. The number almost doubled the 40 DWI incidents recorded in 2001 which was the lowest number of DWI arrests in the past 12 years. The 72 DWI arrests in Lake County include 46 first-time offenders and 7 violators with four or more DWI convictions.
The statewide record showed a drop of alcohol-related crash fatalities of 21% with 131 deaths in 2010, compared to 166 deaths in the past five years. In 2010, the number of alcohol-related deaths accounts to 32% of the 411 total traffic deaths.
Minnesota DWI Arrest Facts
There were 29,918 DWI arrests in 2010 with an average of 82 arrests a day. About a half of DWI arrests in 2010 happened in the metro area of Twin Cities and the 80 county area outside it. 72 arrests happened in Lake County. There were 32,756 DWI arrests statewide in 2009; 35,736 arrests in 2008; 38,635 arrests in 2007 and 41,842 arrests in 2006.
In 2006 to 2010, there were 791 alcohol-related death cases which consist of 166 deaths in 2006; 190 deaths in 2007; 163 deaths in 2008; 141 deaths 2009; and 131 deaths in 2010. The alcohol-related deaths averaged at 170 deaths yearly.
73% of DWI offenders are males.
42% of drivers arrested for DWI are aged 20 to 29, in which one out of 14 is under 21.
58% of the arrested drivers were first-time DWI offenders with average BAC level of 0.15. The remaining 42% were repeat offenders with average BAC level of 0.16.
49% of DWI arrests happened on Saturdays and Sundays.
75% of drunk drivers killed in car crash weren’t wearing seatbelts.
74% of DWI offenders were convicted for driving while impaired.
What Are The Mandatory Penalties and Sentences For DWI?
A first-time offender will be charged with fourth degree DWI carrying a potential penalty equivalent to any other misdemeanor charge, which has a fine of up to $1,000 and/or imprisonment of up to 90 days if convicted.
For second and third degree DWIs, a drunk driver faces a gross demeanor charge with a fine of up to $3,000 and/or up to 12 months of imprisonment when convicted.
Enforcements of Programs and Tougher Sanction
Although the DWI incidents are higher in Lake County, the Department of Public Safety reported that the number of DWI arrests in the entire state of Minnesota continues to drop. This is because the state has enforced high-visibility and educational outreach programs while encouraging Minnesotans to use safe alternatives to prevent DWI.
In addition, a more stringent sanction has been enacted since July 1, which requires repeat DWI offenders and first-time offenders with 0.16 BAC level or over to install ignition interlock device on their vehicle for at least one year. DWI offenders who refuse to install the device will lose their driving privileges for at least one year.
Due to Minnesota’s stringent DWI laws, a DWI charge must be taken seriously. If you’re charged with DWI anywhere in Minnesota, you can potentially avoid severe sentencing by getting the help of an experienced Minnesota DWI attorney. Douglas T. Kans is willing to provide you with comprehensive legal services for the best possible resolution of your DWI/DUI case. You can contact Kans Law Firm, LLC at (952) 835-6314 for a free case review.