400 DWI Arrests Reported St. Patrick's Day Weekend
Minnesota had about 400 DWI arrests and a fatality crash during St. Patrick's Day weekend, the state Department of Public Safety reported Monday.
It's unclear if alcohol was a factor in the deadly crash. The number of arrests are a preliminary count from Saturday and Sunday conducted by the state Office of Traffic Safety.
The following are St. Patrick's Day DWI arrests for past years:
- 346 in 2012 (Saturday)
- 287 in 2011 (Thursday)
- 225 in 2010 (Wednesday)
- 218 in 2009 (Tuesday)
- 165 in 2008 (Monday)
So far this year, there have been 54 traffic deaths in Minnesota, which is down from 64 at this time last year, the public safety department reported.
In the past five years, 651 people were killed by drunken-driving crashes. Drunken-driving deaths account for a third of the state's total deaths annually.
Nearly 30,000 people are arrested for DWI a year in the state. One in seven Minnesota drivers has a DWI on their record.
The following are ways to prevent drunken driving:
- Designate a sober driver.
- Use a cab or public transportation.
- Stay at the location of the celebration.
- Those not planning to drink should let family and friends know if they are available to offer a safe ride home.
- Buckle up. It's the best defense against a drunk driver.
- Report drunk driving by calling 911. Be prepared to provide location, license plate number and observed dangerous behavior.
Source: Minnesota Department of Public Safety Office of Traffic Safety.