Among the more than 300 people arrested on suspicion of DWI in Minnesota over the New Year’s Eve timeframe, there were six in Woodbury.
That’s a slight jump from the two who were busted for drinking and driving last year, according to numbers provided by the Woodbury Public Safety Department.
From Dec. 1, 2011, to Jan. 1, 2012, there were 19 people arrested on DWI charges. This past month that number was 26.
The total number of DWI offenses in Woodbury in 2011 was 130; for 2012 it was 150.
The Minnesota Department of Public Safety on Wednesday reported that at least 300 people were arrested for DWI statewide on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day, according to its preliminary arrest information. The arrest numbers come from the State Patrol, county sheriff’s offices and municipal law enforcement agencies.
While the state had gone four years without a drinking-related death on the roads, there was a fatality north of Deer River, Minn., on Dec. 31, 2012, but it is not known at this time whether alcohol was involved in the crash.
The state averaged 295 DWIs during the previous five years for the holiday, according to a release from the Minnesota DPS.
“New Year’s remains a major celebration, and many people still put lives at risk on the holiday by making the dangerous decision to drink and drive,” Jean Ryan, DPS Office of Traffic Safety impaired driving coordinator, said in a statement. “Those who did not plan ahead for a sober ride and were arrested face serious consequences.”
Several law enforcement agencies conducted extra DWI patrols on New Year’s Eve as part of a statewide enforcement campaign.
Info from the Public Safety Department
Drunk Driving in Minnesota
In the last five years, 651 people were killed in drunk driving crashes—111 in 2011. Each year, nearly 30,000 people are arrested for DWI.
A DWI offense can result in loss of license for up to a year, thousands in costs and possible jail time. Repeat 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, or face at least one year without a driver’s license. Offenders with three or more offenses are required to use interlock for three to six years, or they will never regain driving privileges.
Prevent Drunk Driving
- Plan for a safe ride—designate a sober driver, use a cab or public transportation, or stay at the location of the celebration. Let family/friends know you are available to offer a safe ride home.
- Buckle up and wear protective motorcycle gear—the best defenses against a drunk driver.
- Report drunk driving—call 911 when witnessing impaired driving behavior. Be prepared to provide location, license plate number and observed dangerous behavior.