DWI incidents, or Driving While Intoxicated, are very serious crimes as far as impaired driving issues concern themselves. The facts surrounding DWI incidents in Minnesota reflect on a very sad single thread that weaves all of the various stories together, and that’s the unnecessary death and injury toll often created by DWI driving. While it’s depressing to consider, we can all recognize that if everybody in the world were able to drive sober, we’d have far less of a death and injury toll related to DWI incidents.
In 2015, the avoidable death toll from DWI incidents was 107 deaths, which was an 18% increase over the previous year, 2014. That increase in 2015 re-shifted the focus onto DWI driving as a very serious problem since the deaths reported from DWI incidents accounted for 25% of all traffic deaths that year. Since that 2015 increase, many have noticed that both fatalities and injuries related to DWI driving continue to present a real threat to drivers in Minnesota.
Interestingly, there are some demographics we can discuss related to DWI incidents and the types of people more likely to commit this type of offense. For the most part, males and young adults are the most represented categories as far as impaired-related crashes concern themselves. Also, males and young adults have a disproportionate share of deaths while driving because of how often they appear in the impaired driving category. However, the fact that most DWI incidents are created by males and young adults isn’t the only frightening fact about DWIs. In Minnesota, over 600,000 people with driver license records have a DWI, which demonstrates how prominent DWIs are in the state.
The Legal Alcohol Limit
In Minnesota, the legal alcohol limit for drivers is 0.08. If a person has an alcohol-concentration level of 0.08 or above, then he or she would be driving illegally, and could potentially receive a DWI. That’s because drivers that drive with impaired driving behavior can be arrested and charged. If a person is pulled over while his or her alcohol concentration is at 0.08 or above, then his or he actions constitute a criminal offense with penalties varying from misdemeanors to felonies. Furthermore, driving with an alcohol-concentration of over 0.08 means that person has violated civil law, and his or her driver’s license will be revoked for up to one full year.
Minnesota had 1,159 traffic deaths during 2013-2015, and during that time 293 of those deaths, which accounts for 25% of the incidents, featured impaired drivers. Also, during that same three-year period, from 2013-2015, there were 76,445 DWI arrests. In 2015 alone, there were 25,027 DWI arrests, showing an increase in DWI behavior throughout the state. During 2015, the Twin Cities had 51.8 percent of the impaired driving arrests. Away from the Twin Cities’ metro area, there were 48.2 percent of the impaired driving arrests. So, much of the impaired driving activity that occurs in Minnesota happens in the Twin Cities, meaning if you drive often in the Twin Cities, you might want to pay close attention to potential DWI incidents.
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