Minnesota Law Enforcement Keeps Roads Safe with More Than 2,200 DWI Arrests Over Holiday Season

Troopers, Deputies and Police Officers Participated in Holiday DWI Extra Enforcement Campaign Nov. 23-Dec. 31

ST. PAUL, MINNESOTA — Troopers, deputies and police officers statewide made 2,228 DWI arrests during the holiday DWI campaign from Nov. 23 through New Year’s Eve. The arrest numbers compare with 2,012 DWI arrests during the 2021 campaign.

The Minnesota Department of Public Safety Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) coordinates the campaign with funding provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The campaign includes extra patrols and advertising​ in support of the Toward Zero Deaths traffic safety program.

“When a person is impaired, smart decisions aren’t going to happen. Law enforcement saw that repeatedly during the holiday DWI campaign,” said OTS director Mike Hanson. “One bad decision can put so many people at risk. Thankfully, law enforcement stopped those decisions from further endangering lives. Plan a safe ride home if you’re going to drink, take medications or consume other drugs like THC edibles that may put you at risk of a DWI.”

Crashes and Arrests Highlight Impaired Driving Dangers

  • A trooper in Roseau found a 58-year-old man passed out in the driver’s seat of a vehicle stuck in a snowbank. The man’s foot was on the accelerator, the engine was revving at high RPMs and there were open bottles in the vehicle. The man had a 0.21 BAC.
  • Faribault police stopped a 37-year-old male driver for speeding. He was arrested for DWI with a 0.15 BAC. There were five kids in the car under age 15. Four out of the five children were not wearing seat belts. The driver was also cited for driving after revocation and speeding.
  • A Minnesota State Patrol trooper arrested a 60-year-old female driver near North Branch for DWI with 0.11 BAC. She had left a Thanksgiving lunch and was on her way to a Thanksgiving dinner. She was speeding 92 mph in a 70, unsafely passing other motorists, and had an open alcohol bottle under the driver’s seat.
  • A Mounds View officer was conducting a traffic stop when his marked squad car was almost struck by another vehicle. The officer then pulled over the vehicle that almost hit his car and the driver was arrested for DWI with a 0.13 BAC.
  • Law enforcement agencies also were looking for drugged driving impairment. Agencies such as Bayport and Northfield police, and the Grant County, Hubbard County, Redwood County, and Watonwan County sheriff's offices made drug-related DWI arrests.

Metro-area Highest BACs

In the Twin Cities metro area, the highest BACs reported included:

  • Minnesota State Patrol west metro: 0.41
  • Roseville Police Department: 0.35
  • Carver County Sheriff's Office: 0.32
  • Coon Rapids Police Department: 0.31
  • Minnesota State Patrol east metro: 0.301
  • Minneapolis Police Department: 0.30

Greater Minnesota Highest BACs

In greater Minnesota, the highest BACs reported included:

  • Dodge County Sheriff's Office: 0.38
  • Swift County Sheriff’s Office: 0.38
  • Minnesota State Patrol Detroit Lakes district: 0.366
  • Rogers Police Department: 0.365
  • Douglas County Sheriff's Office: 0.33
  • Wright County Sheriff's Office: 0.33
  • Minnesota State Patrol Rochester district: 0.31

DWI Arrests by Agency

In the Twin Cities metro area, agencies with the most DWI arrests during the campaign included:

  • Minnesota State Patrol west metro: 192
  • Minnesota State Patrol east metro: 125
  • Saint Paul Police Department: 57
  • Ramsey County Sheriff's Office: 37
  • Washington County Sheriff's Office: 34

In greater Minnesota, agencies with the most DWI arrests during the campaign included:

  • Minnesota State Patrol Rochester district: 70
  • Wright County Sheriff's Office: 38
  • Minnesota State Patrol Virginia district: 36
  • Stearns County Sheriff's Office: 35
  • Rochester Police Department: 31

View a list of particip​ating agenci​es and BAC levels​ for more information. 

If You Feel Different, You Drive Different

There's more than one way to risk a DWI and other lives on the road. In addition to alcohol, abuse of prescription medications, antidepressants, opioids, THC edibles, sleep aids, over-the-counter drugs and illegal drugs can affect safe driving abilities. Drugged driving accounted for 6,941 DWI incidents from 2012-2016 compared with 15,747 from 2017-2021.

Minnesotans can prevent impaired driving by designating a sober driver, using a safe, alternative transportation option or staying at the location of the celebration.


About the Minnesota Department Public Safety

The Minnesota Department of Public Safety (DPS) comprises 10 divisions where 2,100 employees operate programs in the areas of law enforcement, crime victim assistance, traffic safety, alcohol and gambling, emergency communications, fire safety, pipeline safety, driver licensing, vehicle registration and emergency management. DPS activity is anchored by three core principles: education, enforcement and prevention.

About the Office of Traffic Safety

The Minnesota Department of Public Safety Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) designs, implements and coordinates federally funded traffic safety enforcement and education programs to improve driver behaviors and reduce the deaths and serious injuries that occur on Minnesota roads. These efforts form a strong foundation for the statewide Toward Zero Deaths​ traffic safety program. OTS also administers state funds for the motorcycle safety program, child seats for needy families program and school bus stop arm camera project.