Posted at: 08/26/2013 10:12 AM

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Final 2012 Drunk Driving Report Released in Minnesota

Photo credit: MGN

(ABC 6 NEWS) -- State safety officials Monday released the final drunk driving report for 2012.

In it, officials say 104 people were killed as a result of impaired drivers, 28,418 arrests were made as well.

“Impaired driving is a constant and scary factor that plagues our roads,” says Donna Berger, DPS 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.”

Currently, law enforcement across Minnesota are taking part in a DWI enforcement period through labor day.  During the first two weekends, approximately 755 suspected drunk drivers were arrested.

Here are some interesting notes about DWI enforcement provided by state officials.

Deaths and Injuries

  • 395 people died in traffic crashes in Minnesota in 2012 and 104 (26 percent) of the deaths were a result of crashes involving drunk drivers. 
  • 78 (75 percent) of the 104 drunk driving deaths occurred outside the Twin Cities’ metro — Greater Minnesota accounted for 250 total fatal crashes in 2012, of which 70 (28 percent) involved a drunk driver.
  • 2,644 people suffered injuries in alcohol-related crashes.


DWI Arrests

  • 28,418 motorists were arrested for DWI (an average of 78 DWIs per day). There were 29,257 arrests in 2011; 29,918 in 2010; 32,756 in 2009; 35,736 in 2008. The Twin Cities’ metro area and the 80-county Greater Minnesota each accounted for about one-half of all 2012 DWI arrests.
  • 11,474 (40 percent) of these violators had at least one prior DWI.  All repeat offenders arrested, and first-time offenders arrested at 0.16 or higher, are eligible to use ignition interlock to regain driving privileges and avoid at least one year without a license.
  • Males accounted for 73 percent of all DWIs.
  • Motorists ages 20–29 represented 42 percent of the arrests.
  • One in 16 of the arrests were motorists under age 21.
  • One in seven current Minnesota drivers has a DWI on record (584,529), and one in 16 has two or more DWIs. 1,292 Minnesotans have 10 or more DWIs.
  • 39 percent of those who incur one violation will incur a second within 15 years of their first arrest.
  • The average alcohol concentration among first-time offenders was 0.148, for repeat offenders the level was 0.164.                                                

DWI Conviction Rates

76 percent of motorists arrested for DWI resulted in a criminal conviction for driving while impaired; this percentage will increase as outstanding cases are settled in courts. Historically, about 85 percent of DWI arrests result in a conviction each year.

The top five counties for DWI conviction rates were: Clearwater (95 percent); Hubbard (94 percent); Marshall (94 percent); Watonwan (94 percent); Wilkin (93 percent); Polk (92 percent); Wabasha (91 percent); and Otter Tail (90 percent).

Counties with the lowest conviction rates: Washington (62 percent); Steele (67 percent); Dakota (68 percent); Hennepin (69 percent); and Fillmore (70 percent).