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.
For Minnesota motorists, DWI offenses already carry significant penalties. Even first-time offenders facing misdemeanor charges could wind up with a license suspension, a major fine and even jail time. Like all other states, Minnesota sets the drunk driving threshold at a blood alcohol count of .08 percent. However, a study is recommending a lowered limit, arguing that it will cut down on fatal accidents.
Country music artist Michael Ray shot to fame in Minnesota when his ballad 'Kiss You in the Morning" climbed to the top of the Billboard Country Airplay chart in 2015. However, the 29-year-old entertainer's wholesome reputation suffered a blow on Dec. 20 when he was taken into custody on drunk driving and drug possession charges. Police in Florida say that Ray was impaired by alcohol when his Jeep SUV struck the rear of another vehicle at a fast-food drive-thru.
Government agencies and community organizations throughout Minnesota have worked to provide advocacy and education on the dangers of driving while intoxicated. At the end of the day, however, every motorist has the responsibility to decide if they are impaired to the point where they should not get behind the wheel.
Albert Lea police officers took nine people into custody during an anti-DUI campaign held in Freeborn County between Aug. 18 and Sept. 1. Over 300 Minnesota law enforcement agencies took part in the initiative.