ST. PAUL, Minn. (KMSP) - More than 300 law enforcement agencies made 1,351 DWI arrests during the end of the summer extra enforcement campaign from Aug. 18 – Sept. 5. A driver with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 or above can be arrested for DWI.
According to the Minnesota Department of Public Safety Office of Traffic Safety, the Winona County Sheriff’s Office arrested a driver for a DWI who had his intoxicated brother as a passenger. Within the hour, the brother was arrested for a DWI while driving the same vehicle.
In another case, Hutchinson Police arrested an individual who attempted to drive through a roundabout and got stuck.
Finally, police in Two Harbors arrested a driver for a DWI and for fleeing after striking a firetruck and squad car at a crash scene, and later striking two more squad cars during the pursuit.
Some of the highest alcohol concentrations of the campaign were recorded in White Bear Lake at 0.38 percent and in Rochester at 0.36 percent. Agencies with the most arrests include Oakdale at 89 arrests and Golden Valley at 67.
A DWI arrest results in the loss of a license for up to a year, thousands of dollars in costs and possible jail time. Repeated DWI offenders, as well as first time offenders arrested at 0.16 and above alcohol-concentration level, must use ignition interlock in order to regain legal driving privileges. The Ignition Interlock Device is installed on the individual’s vehicle near the steering wheel, it is about the size of a calculator, and it includes a blowing tube. The driver is required to blow into the tube in order to start the vehicle, and if the alcohol concentration level exceeds the legal limit, the vehicle will not start.
Offenders with three or more offenses are required to use interlock for three to six years, or they will never regain driving privileges.
The Department of Public Safety reminds drivers to designate a sober driver, use a cab or public transportation or to stay at the location of the event. Additionally, friends should “offer to be a designated driver or be available to pick up a loved one anytime, anywhere.”