Minnesota: Police put on big DWI arrest push during big fish weekend; will add DWI arrests to Twitter

Trooper inspecting a crashed vehicle

ST. PAUL, Minn. — Twin Cities roads on Friday, May 10, will be saturated with up to 150 law enforcement squads from more than 70 different agencies during a special one-day DWI enforcement crackdown, the largest coordinated DWI event ever in the metro.

The campaign is coordinated by the Minnesota Department of Public Safety (DPS) Office of Traffic Safety. City and county agencies and the Minnesota State Patrol are participating. Extra DWI patrols are also hitting the roads in many other counties this weekend.

The increased patrols are rolling out to alert motorists of the dangers and consequences of drunk driving as the state heads into the warm-weather driving season, when impaired driving activity historically increases. In the past five years, there were 288 drunk driving deaths during May–August, representing 44 percent of the state’s total drunk driving deaths (651) in these five years.

Each year in Minnesota, drunk driving accounts for more than 100 deaths and nearly 300 serious, life-altering injuries. Nearly 30,000 people are arrested for DWI annually and one in seven Minnesota drivers has a DWI on record.

“We are strongly demonstrating what we are doing to stop drunk drivers through this display of enforcement,” says DPS Commissioner Mona Dohman. “We are asking you to do your part, too, by planning ahead and avoiding the dangers and consequences of driving impaired.”

The effort will be supported by high-visibility enforcement tactics including MnDOT overhead message boards calling out certain major corridors as “DWI Enforcement Zones” — where officers will be focusing patrols.

DPS will live-report DWI arrest activity on Twitter May 10 — follow updates at @MnDPS_OTS, #May10DWI.

The May 10 event leads into future increased DWI patrols this summer that will be focused on the state’s 13 counties with the highest combined totals of drunk driving deaths and serious injuries: Anoka, Becker, Dakota, Hennepin, Meeker, Olmsted, Otter Tail, Ramsey, St. Louis, Sherburne, Stearns, Washington, Wright.

A statewide DWI crackdown will be on the roads in mid-August.