Over 1,100 impaired drivers arrested during Labor Day enforcement

More than 1,100 people were arrested for driving while impaired during a two-and-a-half-week statewide enforcement campaign that ran through Labor Day.

The Minnesota Department of Public Safety (DPS) says 1,140 impaired drivers were arrested across Minnesota from Aug. 18 through Sept. 4, down from 1,265 during the same period last year.

The highlights — or, more accurately, lowlights — of the arrests make a perfect list of things to not do.

DPS says three of the arrests involved people who had a blood-alcohol content (BAC) above .40 and two others above .37. One impaired driver had five prior DWI convictions in the past 10 years. Another impaired driver was arrested twice by the Winona County Sheriff’s Office in three days for DWI. Troopers stopped an impaired driver who was going 107 mph with a .14 BAC and another was arrested for going 99 mph with a .13 BAC.

Additionally, DPS says 125 drivers were cited for violating the state’s “Move Over” law, which updated in July to require drivers to also move over for stalled or disabled vehicles that have their lights flashing or if at least one person is visible outside the vehicle.

Overall, DPS says impaired driving arrests are up by around 4.5% this year, with at least 19,035 drivers arrested for DWI in Minnesota this year compared to 18,223 at this time last year.

The department also reminds Minnesotans that while marijuana possession was legalized last month, driving while high or having any open containers of marijuana products remains illegal.

Getting a DWI can result in drivers losing their license for up to a year, plus thousands of dollars in financial costs and possible jail time. The penalties are even more severe for repeat offenders or first-time offenders who have a BAC above .15.