More than 1,500 drivers were arrested for drunken driving during the “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign by the Minnesota Department of Public Safety.
Authorities said that there were nearly 350 agencies involved in the campaign that ran from August 16 to September 2. The report also outlined the five areas that had the most number of intoxicated drivers. In Woodbury, police arrested a drunk driver who had a blood alcohol concentration five times over Minnesota’s legal limit. Other high limits included a .36 in Minnetonka and a .37 in Worthington. There was a .357 in Swift County.
Among the Twin Cities, St. Paul police arrested 60 individuals for DWI and Minneapolis arrested 42. Bloomington followed with 37.
In the St. Cloud area, there were 23 arrests.
It is estimated by the Department of Public Safety that Minnesota has around 30,000 arrests statewide every year. The crackdowns by the hundreds of law enforcement agencies have resulted in an increase in the number of DWI cases making it to Minnesota courts, but the number of accidents and fatalities has decreased.
A year ago, 104 people were killed in drunken driving crashes. This is 100 fewer than in 2002.
The Minnesota Department of Public Safety released a report that shows how many arrests each department made during the sweep and the highest blood alcohol concentration. Some departments had no arrests at all and others had a single arrest where the suspect opted to refuse the blood alcohol testing.
If a driver refuses testing after given the Minnesota Implied Consent advisory, which informs them that they have the right to refuse despite the criminal nature of refusal, then their license will be revoked. They immediately lose their driving privileges regardless of innocence or guilt (the test results aren’t there to prove either). While refusing a test is not an admission of guilt, driving privileges are completely lost, as the state views obtaining a driver’s license as a way in which someone implies that they will comply with alcohol testing requests if the occasion ever comes about. These individuals can follow a time sensitive process to get their driving privileges back.