Extra enforcement looking for drunk drivers testing their luck on St. Patrick’s Day

A Lonely Holiday

St. Patrick’s Day is a time for celebration and gatherings with friends, but there are Minnesota families who remember it as a tragic day that changed their lives forever.

During the last six years (2011-2016), five people died on St. Patrick’s Day at the hands of a drunk driver.

Extra DWI enforcement

To keep Minnesota motorists safe, law enforcement in Minnesota will have extra DWI patrols this holiday weekend looking for drunk drivers.

St. Patrick’s Day is the second leading holiday for DWI arrests per hour, only behind Labor Day.

  • Labor Day – 4.9
  • St. Patrick’s Day – 4.6
  • July 4 – 4.5
  • Memorial Day – 4.3
  • New Year’s Eve – 3.9
  • Super Bowl – 3.8
  • Thanksgiving – 3.7
  • Christmas – 3

The number of people arrested for DWI on St. Patrick’s Day typically goes up when the holiday falls on a weekend. With St. Patrick’s Day on Friday this year, people may be taking the day off and making it a full-weekend celebration.

  • 2012 (Saturday) — 346
  • 2013 (Sunday) — 227
  • 2014 (Monday) — 105
  • 2015 (Tuesday) — 134
  • 2016 (Thursday) — 189

Drunk Driving in Minnesota

· In the last five years (2011 – 2015), 462 people were killed in drunk driving-related crashes in Minnesota.

· Drunk driving-related deaths account for one-fourth of all traffic fatalities in Minnesota.

· Each year, approximately 27,000 people are arrested for DWI and one in seven licensed Minnesota drivers has a DWI on record.

Sober Ride Options

No matter how much you intend to drink, plan for a safe ride — designate a sober driver, take a cab/public transportation or stay at the location of the party.

“Free Rides. Lucky You.” Metro transit will be offering free rides on buses, light rail and Northstar on St. Patrick’s Day from 6 p.m. – 3 a.m.

If walking home from an establishment, use the buddy system and make sure each person in your party not only gets home safely but makes it inside their home without incident.

DWI Consequences

  • Loss of license for up to a year, thousands of dollars in costs and possible jail time.
  • Repeat DWI offenders, as well as first-time offenders arrested at 0.16 and above alcohol-concentration level, must use ignition interlock in order to regain legal driving privileges or face at least one year without a driver’s license.
  • Offenders with three or more offenses are required to use interlock for three to six years, or they will never regain driving privileges.

Prevent Drunk Driving

Plan for a safe ride – designate a sober driver, use a cab/public transportation or stay at the location of the celebration.

Speak Up – Offer to be a designated driver, or be available to pick up a loved one anytime, anywhere.

Buckle up – the best defense against a drunk driver.

Report drunk driving – call 911 when witnessing impaired driving behavior. Be prepared to provide location, license plate number and observed dangerous behavior.