Holiday DWI arrests were up in 2021 compared to the previous year, the Minnesota Department of Public Safety reported Wednesday.
DPS says there were 2,037 arrests for “driving while intoxicated” during the statewide holiday extra DWI patrol campaign, which ran from Nov 24 to Dec 31. That number is up from the 1,383 DWI arrests made during the same campaign in 2020. However, 2021 DWI arrests are down from every year between 2015 to 2019.
Preliminary 2021 data also shows that alcohol-related traffic deaths and injuries are at the lowest since 2017, with five fatalities and four injuries.
DPS broke down the data by agency. In Greater Minnesota, the state patrol’s Rochester district has the highest number of arrests, with 57. But it was Mankato that reported the DWI with the Top BAC (blood-alcohol content) in Greater Minnesota, with one person who was arrested after recording a staggering .39 BAC, according to DPS.
One incident from southern Minnesota made the DPS list of notable drunk driving arrests: Austin police arrested a mother for DWI who was picking up her children at daycare. A concerned family member reported the woman, and she was arrested as she was putting her kids in the car. Her blood-alcohol content was .20, according to DPS.
An arrest that wasn’t mentioned on the DPS press release happened during the extra enforcement period, on Dec 7 in North Mankato. Police arrested 27-year-old Amy Llewellyn Steen, who is accused of crashing with a school bus while under the influence of alcohol. Court documents say Steen’s blood-alcohol level was at .36 at the time of the crash.