The pandemic isn’t over, however vacation DWI arrests virtually returned to pre-pandemic ranges in Minnesota in November and December, authorities reported on Wednesday.
Through the statewide vacation further DWI patrols marketing campaign — a marketing campaign that ran from Nov. 24 via Dec. 31 — 2,037 drivers have been arrested throughout the state in contrast with 1,383 arrests in the course of the 2020 marketing campaign. In 2019, there have been 2,353 arrests.
“We have to proceed to teach the general public on the significance of designated drivers,” mentioned Sgt. Troy Christianson of the Minnesota State Patrol.
Legislation enforcement companies throughout Minnesota participated within the marketing campaign performed by the Division of Public Security Workplace of Visitors Security (DPS-OTS). Extra time funding for the marketing campaign is offered by the Nationwide Freeway Visitors Security Administration.
DWI arrests throughout this time interval embody a 30-year-old St. Paul lady who, reportedly upset her pizza wasn’t prepared, sped away from a Domino’s on Pierce Butler Route on Dec. 27 and rolled her SUV a couple of mile away, in line with costs filed in Ramsey County District Courtroom.
In Wright County on Dec. 4, a 19-year-old male driver, reportedly distracted looking for Christmas music on the radio, drove via a cease signal and hit a tree. His blood-alcohol content material was 0.19, authorities say.
And in St. Francis, an 18-year-old man was arrested in December for driving impaired (allegedly beneath the affect of each alcohol and marijuana) and crashing right into a home. He reportedly informed police he was “joyriding.”
Within the Twin Cities metro, the St. Paul Police Division made 107 arrests in the course of the marketing campaign, in line with a state press launch. The one company that made extra arrests was the Oakdale district of the Minnesota State Patrol, with 109 arrests.
After all, simply because the vacations are over doesn’t imply the issue has gone away.
“We’re nonetheless seeing impaired drivers on the roadway,” Christianson says.
In 2021, there have been 498 deadly crashes on Minnesota roads, a 14-year excessive. At the moment final 12 months, there have been 4 deadly crashes. In 2022, there have already been 9.
Whereas authorities are nonetheless figuring out the causes of those crashes, Christianson says of the rise: “We have to appropriate that development and reverse it.”
The subsequent further DWI patrols marketing campaign will likely be on Feb. 13 — Tremendous Bowl Sunday.
“Plan forward,” Christianson mentioned.
Additionally, whereas alcohol, unlawful drug use or prescription drugs could cause impairment, so can widespread over-the-counter medication, comparable to chilly, flu, sleep and allergy medicines. Medication like antidepressants, opioids and sleep aids prescribed by a health care provider can have an effect on your capability to drive safely as properly, authorities say.