Statistics released by the Minnesota Department of Public Safety Office are showing that drunken-driving deaths in Minnesota were down 40% between 2002 and 2011. While this is great news, there is still a lot of work to be done in order to save more lives.
This figure is a part of the agency’s Traffic Office’s release of the drunken-driving data from 2011, which stated 111 people were killed as the result of drunken driving. However, this is down from 185 killed in 2002.
Also a part of the report was the number of Minnesota residents arrested for DWI in 2011, which was 29,257. This breaks down to one in seven licensed drivers in Minnesota having a DWI on their record. Over 1200 Minnesotans have upward of 10 DWIs.
The numbers are still rather high with 651 people being killed in alcohol-related crashes between 2007 and 2011. This averaged out to 130 deaths each year. During this same time period, nearly 167,000 DWI arrests were made. How many of these arrests resulted in convictions are not known, as many cases are dismissed due to faulty arrest procedures or other circumstances that may exist.
It is obvious that progress is being made in limiting the number of drunk-driving deaths being seen within the state. Much of this has to do with more education and impaired-driving programs that help prevent repeat offenders. Strict penalties and increased vigilance by law enforcement have also been contributing factors.
Nonetheless, of the total number of fatal crashes that took place in Minnesota last year, 30% of them were related to drunk driving.