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.
A 34-year-old woman was charged with two counts of driving while intoxicated after crashing her vehicle in Ham Lake, Minnesota. The accident occurred at 10 p.m. on June 15, and authorities say that the woman had a blood alcohol content of .175 percent when it took place. Authorities also said that she initially claimed that she had not been driving the vehicle when it went off of the road.
Some people in Minnesota are advocating for even stricter alcohol laws, claiming that new laws will help cut down on the number of accidents linked to drunk driving. During 2016, over 1 million people were arrested nationwide and charged with driving under the influence. Some claim that the number of drunk driving arrests represent only a small percentage of the total number of people who actually drive while intoxicated every year.
A series of drug investigations has led to the arrests of almost 30 Minnesota residents for allegedly trafficking methamphetamine and opioids. The arrests were announced by the Hubbard County Sheriff's Office on April 2.
Minnesota motorists may have more grounds to appeal convictions for driving under the influence following a recent ruling by a Hennepin County Court judge. The ruling stated that the DataMaster, a machine used to record the results of breath tests for alcohol across the state, had rounded up one person's test result, potentially leading to her DWI conviction.
A grant awarded to Edina in 2015 from the Minnesota Department of Public Safety's Office of Traffic Safety division has funded a full-time drunk driving enforcement officer for the city. This position as well as the three major highways that cross the Minneapolis suburb have produced the state's highest number of DWI arrests by population. In 2017, the law enforcement for the community of 51,000 made 476 arrests for impaired driving. Only Minneapolis police made more arrests for the same offenses, and that city has approximately eight times the population of Edina.