28,418 Minnesota residents were charged with a DUI in 2012, which equates to an average of 78 citizens a day, according to data from the Minnesota Department of Public Safety.
Although the number of DWI arrests is high, the total number of motorists booked for drunk driving fell for the fifth consecutive year. There were 29,257 arrests in 2011, 29,918 in 2010, and over 30,000 arrests in both 2009 and 2008. Roughly half of the DUI arrests last year occurred in the Twin Cities metro area and the 80-county Greater Minnesota area.
“Impaired driving is a constant and scary factor that plagues our roads,” said Donna Berger, Department of Public Safety Office of Traffic Safety director. “But the problem can be addressed and the tragedies prevented if we all make the effort to take responsibility and make smart decisions.”
Traffic fatalities from alcohol-related incidents also fell in 2012. Last year there were 104 alcohol-related deaths on Minnesota roads, compared to 111 deaths in 2011. Based on current data and projections, the Department of Public Safety is not projecting the number of alcohol-related traffic deaths to fall again in 2013.
A Deeper Look
A closer look at the Department of Public Safety statistics reveals some concerning trends regarding alcohol-related incidents on Minnesota roads. Some other findings include:
- 75 percent of the 104 drunk driving deaths occurred outside the Twin Cities metro area.
- 40 percent (11,474) of those individuals arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence had at least on prior DUI. As we’ve alluded to in past posts, repeat offenders and first-time offenders who blow over a 0.16 are required to install an ignition interlock device on their vehicle.
- 26 percent of traffic deaths on Minnesota roads involved a drunk driver.
- Nearly 40 percent of those individuals arrested for DWI will have a second drunk driving violation within 15 years of their first offense.
- Males accounted for nearly ¾’s of all DWIs.
- Males between the ages of 20 and 29 were the most common demographic arrested for DUI.
- 6 percent of the individuals arrested for DUI were under the age of 21.
- 1 in 7 Minnesotans has a DWI on their record, and 1 in 16 has two or more DWIs.
- The average blood alcohol concentration for first time offenders was .148, and for repeat offenders it was .164.
Related source: Star-Tribune
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