St. Paul, MN (KROC-AM News) - Over 2,600 motorists spent a portion of the just finished holiday season in jail because they chose to get behind the wheel and drive after drinking alcohol or consuming something that impaired their ability to safely operate a vehicle.

The Minnesota Department of Public Safety today reported that 2,656 motorists were arrested on DWI charges during an enhanced enforcement campaign that was conducted from November 22nd through New Year’s Day. A similar crackdown the previous year resulted in just over DWI 2400 arrests.

68 of the arrests were made by State Troopers assigned to the State Patrol’s Rochester headquarters in Rochester. 23 DWI arrests were attributed to Rochester Police Officers participating in the crackdown and another 23 arrests were reported by the Olmsted County Sheriff’s Department.

The report from the state show the highest blood-alcohol-concentration found among the motorists arrested in Olmsted County was .29. A dozen local law enforcement agencies reported at least one arrest involving a motorist with a BAC above .35, while the highest in the state was a potentially fatal reading of .492 in Coon Rapids.

Among the more notable arrests reported to the state was one involving a driver picked up by the Olmsted County Sheriff’s Department who drove into a fishing area inside a county park and crashed into some rocks before going airborne into the lake. Another notable case occurred in Fairmont, where a motorist was arrested for DWI on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve after being caught driving in the wrong direction in both incidents.


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