Drivers in Minnesota eager to engage in some Super Bowl Sunday festivities need to heed warnings by cops that they intend to be out in force this weekend. Police departments across the state have said they will have extra officers out and will be operating checkpoints to try and catch drivers who’ve had a little too much to drink after the big game.
Law enforcement officials with the state’s Department of Public Safety say that it’s been four years since the last Super Bowl Sunday drunk driving-related fatality on Minnesota’s roadways and they want to keep the streak going. Drivers should pay attention to the warning about increased enforcement, as it is likely not an idle threat. Over the past five years, officers across the state have made 1,101 DWI arrests on Super Bowl Sunday alone.
The continued emphasis on drunk driving arrests began late last year when the 13 counties in the state with the highest number of incidents of drunk driving traffic accidents launched a campaign to crack down on suspected impaired drivers. The enforcement effort began in earnest before the December holiday season and has so far resulted in an enormous number of arrests. The law enforcement agencies say that their Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign led to more than 2,500 arrests statewide in the month of December.
Law enforcement agencies have been reporting the number of arrests made and the highest BAC levels of those pulled over since the recent enforcement effort began. For the month of December, the Minnesota State Patrol recorded the highest BAC level, with one suspect registering a 0.47 (the state’s legal limit is 0.08). Though that number was by far the highest, more than twenty other law enforcement agencies across the state reported arresting drivers with blood alcohol concentrations greater than 0.20. The Minneapolis Police Department reported arresting 86 drivers for DWI, the most intoxicated of which had a BAC of 0.347. In St. Paul, the numbers were equally bad. The St. Paul Police Department arrested 137 drivers in December for DWI and the highest BAC reading they found was 0.39. To view the list containing December statistics for every law enforcement agency in the state, click here.
Given that a typical year in Minnesota results in 30,000 people being charged with DWI, some wonder what a year of especially aggressive enforcement might mean for the number of drivers in the state with DWI charges on their driving record. Already one in seven drivers in Minnesota have a DWI conviction on their record; we can only hope that the proportion does not continue to climb.
DWI offenses in Minnesota generally lead to thousands of dollars in fees, loss of license for up to one year, and possible jail time. If you are charged with DUI in the state of Minnesota, call the Kans Law Firm immediately at (952) 835-6314 for a free consultation and case evaluation.
Source: “Extra DWI Enforcement Planned for Super Bowl Sunday,” by Joel Runck, published at KEYC.tv.