The Minnesota State Patrol described celebrations on New Year’s Eve as controlled, as there were reports of only average numbers of DWI arrests and only one fatal accident in Minnesota.
An accident in northeastern Minnesota killed a Bigfork resident on Monday afternoon. The 27-year-old man died after his car collided with a semi-trailer truck in Itasca County.
The state’s Department of Public Safety stated, however, that should the accident not be caused by the influence of alcohol, then it should be Minnesota’s fifth year in a row without alcohol-related death on both New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.
Minnesota’s State Patrol stepped up enforcement looking for impaired drivers on the road as part of its initiative known as “Toward Zero Death”.
Only 25 DWI arrests were reported in Minnesota on New Year’s Eve. According to a State Patrol spokesman, this is a number comparable to a typical weekend night. He believes that individuals may have chosen to either assign a sober driver or to stay put in one venue. Full numbers have not yet been available for both Monday and Tuesday.
The State Patrol spokesman states that although the low numbers present to be a positive sign, it does not mean that they can ease off or rest by any means. For the last five years, Minnesota has averaged 295 DWI arrests on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. Each year, an average of 100 individuals in Minnesota die due to drunk driving accidents.
During the past few years, New Year’s Eve in Minnesota has resulted in hundreds of arrests and thousands of dollars in fines and time in jail. The St. Louis County Chief states that approximately 67% of those arrested for DWI are so mortified with being arrested and with the entire legal process that they do not get charged again.
In Minnesota, a first time DWI offense could result in a thousand dollars in fines, up to 90 days behind bars, and rendering one’s driver’s license useless.
According to state officials, it all boils down to acting responsibly and making sound decisions. Both drivers and passengers should always remember to buckle up and to plan for a sober ride. Individuals should also report drunk drivers to 911. This year, Metro Transit offered free rides on New Year’s Eve from 6 p.m. until the last scheduled trip on light rail and buses.
The last alcohol-related fatality occurring on New Year’s in Minnesota was in 2008. DPS data shows that from 2002 to 2007, there were seven deaths caused by drunken drivers on New Years.
Hiring a DWI Lawyer
If you are charged with DWI in the state of Minnesota, call the Kans Law Firm, LLC right away at (952) 835-6314 for a free consultation regarding your case.