Sections

Weather Forecast

Close

Minn. Thanksgiving weekend DWI arrests highest since 2014

ST. PAUL—Minnesota law enforcement authorities made 490 arrests for drunken driving from Wednesday to Sunday last week — the Thanksgiving Day holiday weekend.

The number topped the 468 arrests of 2015 and the 448 arrests in 2016. In 2014, there were 498 arrests over the holiday weekend.

Thanksgiving Day is not the worst holiday for driving under the influence arrests. It comes in sixth out of the 10 holidays for which the Department of Public Safety keeps track. It's generally behind Labor Day, the Fourth of July, Halloween, Memorial Day and St. Patrick's Day in number of DWIs generally recorded per hour.

But the Wednesday before Thanksgiving — known by some as "Blackout Wednesday" or "Drinksgiving" — has more DWI arrests than the typical Wednesday.

Law enforcement authorities made more than 100 arrests for unlawful drinking and driving across the state Wednesday night and early Thursday morning.

State public safety officials did not yet have data on where the arrests took place and whether anyone was injured or killed from intoxicated driving. They also did not say why there are increased arrests over the Thanksgiving holiday, but noted extra law enforcement is out over that period.

The Department of Public Safety suggests:

•Plan for a safe ride — Plan a sober ride ahead of time

•Speak up — Offer to be the designated driver

•Buckle up — The best defense against a drunk driver

•Report drunk driving — Call 911 with the location, license plate number and behavior

randomness