Year-end crackdown yields fewer drunk driving arrests

| Feb 5, 2021 | DWI |

The holidays may seem like a distant memory by now. However, Minnesota law enforcement is still tabulating the arrests they made as 2020 ended and comparing those figures to previous years. The good news is that the number of drunk driving arrests for 2020 was considerably lower than the previous year. However, many of those who were arrested still have to face the bad news.

State police made 22,653 arrests for drunk driving in 2020, including 92 on New Year’s Eve, typically the night when more DWI arrests occur than any other during the year. However, last year on New Year’s Eve, 138 people were arrested for DWI, and the year-end total was nearly 28,000. The figures for 2020 are the lowest numbers since 2016. Police say recent health worries and crowd restrictions likely contributed to the low numbers.

Aggravating factors

As in most states, the legal limit for blood alcohol concentration for drivers is .08. A BAC of .16 or higher can lead to the potential for more serious penalties, such as a year-long suspension of one’s driver’s license and higher fines. One driver arrested over the holidays reportedly had a BAC of .39, and six others tested at a level of .24. Repeat offenders also face more serious penalties for conviction. Drivers are considered repeat offenders if they have a previous conviction within the past 10 years.

Police target drunk drivers in various campaigns during the year. The next one will occur at the end of the summer. However, drivers may face a DWI arrest at any time and should know where they can turn for solid legal advice and representation.

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