ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) – A campaign launched to crack down on drunk driving over the holiday season resulted in more than 2,400 arrests for DWI across the state, according to the Minnesota Department of Public Safety.
Authorities say from Nov. 23-Dec. 30, there were 2,407 arrests for drunk driving. That number is down from last year, when there were 2,502 arrests for DWI.
The State Patrol says there were also more than 1,600 seat-belt tickets, down from 2,095 last year.
Authorities say the 2,400 arrests included at least four dangerous incidents. On New Year’s Eve, a 40-year-old man was arrested after driving the wrong way and approaching a Jordan police squad car head-on. The driver had an 11-year-old boy in the car and recorded a blood alcohol level of .25, more than three times the legal limit for driving in Minnesota.
An officer in St. Paul was transporting his second drunk driving arrest of the night when he spotted another vehicle driving erratically. As he stopped the vehicle, the driver and passenger were switching spots and they were both arrested for DWI.
During another DWI arrest in St. Paul, the officer’s squad car was hit by another vehicle before fleeing the scene. The vehicle was eventually stopped, and the driver had a .245 blood alcohol level.
Authorities say a drunk driver in Spring Lake Park plowed through the garage of a residence, damaging the garage and two vehicles inside. The driver fled but was arrested.
During the DWI crackdown, 11 agencies reported drivers with blood alcohol levels of at least .30. The highest was in South St. Paul, where a driver had a .38.