More people were detained in Minnesota in 2019 on suspicion of driving while intoxicated (DWI) than in the previous year. A preliminary report that was released from the Department of Public Safety detailed the number of drivers detained on DWI charges as part of a program to decrease the number of drunk drivers on the road.
As cannabis is legalized in an increasing number of states, many people have raised concerns about individuals driving while under the influence of marijuana. Drunken driving has been linked to a large number of motor vehicle collisions in Minnesota. States across the country have enacted tough laws setting out clear blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limits. Drivers caught exceeding these limits can face drunken driving charges. The 0.08% BAC limit is backed up by a significant amount of research regarding how alcohol affects drivers' decision-making abilities. However, there is relatively little research about how cannabis affects a person's driving skills.
Many people in Minnesota expect that breath tests will produce an accurate result that shows whether or not a person was driving while intoxicated. However, some of the more popular diet options can actually produce a false result on this type of test, potentially leading to serious penalties for people falsely accused. The keto diet is based on low carbohydrate consumption that pushes the body into ketosis, where the liver breaks down fat for fuel. When this happens, acetone emerges as a byproduct, and some of that is released as isopropyl alcohol.
A 58-year-old Minnesota man may be regretting his decision to go out for some fast food on the afternoon of Feb. 13. The Clearwater resident was taken into custody by Stearns County police on drunk driving and felony fleeing charges after allegedly attempting to elude officers in a chase that reached speeds of up to 85 mph. The man is said to have told the officers that he fled in order to reach his house so that his pickup truck would not be towed.
Minnesotans who are NFL fans might be interested in learning that P.J. Williams, a cornerback for the New Orleans Saints, was arrested on Jan. 23 on suspicions of driving while intoxicated. Williams was reportedly arrested for drunk driving and careless driving at 1:10 a.m.
In December, the Minnesota Court of Appeals upheld the drunk driving conviction of a man who was charged more than two years after the incident originally occurred. The defendant, now age 29, is from Stewartville.
Each day, an average of 29 people die from car crashes caused by drunk drivers. There may be fewer such crashes on roads in Minnesota and throughout America by lowering the legal blood alcohol content limit to .05 percent. This is according to the National Traffic Safety Board, which has suggested lowering the legal limit from its current .08 percent. Research from the Texas Medical Center Health Policy Institute found that 55 percent of Americans agree with that idea.
Minnesota football fans may be interested to learn that Aaron Neary, currently a center on the Los Angeles Rams practice squad, was detained for driving while intoxicated on Sept. 16. The incident occurred in Simi Valley, Calif., during the early evening hours. Local police were alerted to the alleged incident when 911 calls began coming in claiming that a person was driving their vehicle erratically.
The Dakota County attorney's office issued an arrest warrant for a 59-year-old man from Rosemount this spring for his role in a serious four-vehicle accident on U.S. Highway 52. His arrest took place in July, and he remains jailed at the Dakota County Jail with bail set at $250,000.
Authorities have reported that a 51-year-old woman was charged with both driving while under the influence of alcohol and drug possession following a routine traffic stop on the evening of Feb. 10. A subsequent breath test is said to have established that the woman's blood alcohol content was actually below Minnesota's .08 percent legal driving limit. Media accounts indicate that the woman was transported to the Washington County Jail after being taken into custody at the scene.