This year, the Minnesota State Patrol widely publicized its plans to pursue impaired drivers during the long St. Patrick’s Day weekend. It asserted that extra officers would be out on patrol.
Now, the Department of Public Safety’s Office of Traffic Safety has tallied the results, and they are substantial. A total of 495 motorists were arrested for DWI from Friday, March 14 through Tuesday, March 18 at 6 a.m. Initially, 420 DWI arrests were reported for the first part of the holiday weekend ending 9 a.m. on Monday, March 17. Then, another 75 such arrests were reported for the period from 9 a.m. on Monday to 6 a.m. Tuesday. As additional information is submitted to the Office of Traffic Safety, the total may increase even further.
The State Patrol’s focus on St. Patrick’s Day revelers may be warranted, based on statistics compiled over the past six years. During that period, more than 1,450 drivers were cited for DWI on St. Patrick’s Day alone, according to the Star Tribune. Over the course of those six holiday events, a total of 1,768 traffic accidents were reported. Also, nine fatalities related to motor vehicle accidents occurred over the course of those six St. Patrick’s Days.
The Minnesota State Patrol puts these numbers in the context of the overall statistics regarding motorists that are accused of driving while intoxicated on state roads. In 2013 alone, 25,426 drivers were cited for driving while under the influence. Furthermore, the State Patrol asserts that approximately one-third of all the traffic-related fatalities in the state are alcohol-related. In 2013, a total of 390 traffic deaths were reported in Minnesota.
However, it is always important to understand that an arrest is not a conviction. The statistics noted here regarding DWI pertain to arrests. To speak with a Minneapolis DWI lawyer about the specifics of a charge that you or a family member may face, please contact us.