Within the past 5 years, more than 3,000 DWI arrests were made during Christmas and New Year’s in Minnesota alone.
Plan ahead. If you have a Christmas or New Year’s party coming up, plan how to get home. Volunteer to be the sober driver, or reserve a cab ahead of time. The mistake that people often make is thinking they are sober enough to drive, when they actually are not. It can take 75-90 minutes or longer for the body to eliminate the alcohol contained in one standard-size drink.
In an effort to prevent Drunk Driving please consider any of the following options:
Hail a Cab
Call a Friend
Take the Bus
Designate a Sober Driver
Stay where you’re at
Buckle up – best defense against a drunk driver
Report drunk driving – call 911 when witnessing impaired driving behavior. Be prepared to provide a location, license plate number and observed dangerous behavior – says MN DPS.
Did You Know?
Last year, Minnesota had more than 3,634 alcohol related crashes that resulted in over 135 deaths1
Christmas ranks as the holiday with the 2nd largest proportion of drunk-driving fatalities
New Year’s Day ranks as the holiday with the highest proportion of serious injuries from drunk driving
Within the past 5 years, more than 3,050 DWI arrests were made during Christmas and New Year’s in Minnesota alone
Alcohol impaired drivers are involved in more than about one in three fatal crashes2
Most alcohol-related crashes occur on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. Combined, these days accounted for 58% of the alcohol-related crashes3
Within the past 5 years, 36 people have been injured and 17 killed from drunk-driving crashes during Christmas in Minnesota, according to Minnesota’s Department of Public Safety
Also within the past 5 years, 30 people were injured and 16 were killed from drunk-driving crashes during New Year’s Day in Minnesota
51% of DWI incidents in Minnesota were committed by 21-34-year-olds. (See Figure 2.01)4
Every 2 minutes someone is injured in a drunk driving crash5
Drivers who had been drinking at the .08 breath alcohol concentration had about 4 times the risk of crashing as sober drivers6
Consequences of a DWI
What Happens When You Get a DWI?
Impaired driving, or driving while impaired (DWI/DUI), is a serious offense in Minnesota. If you are arrested for a DWI or other alcohol-related driving offenses, you may face both criminal and administrative penalties.
Your penalties will vary by the number ofDWI offenses you’ve committed and the severity of the violation, but you’ll typically face:
Thousands of dollars in fines
Potential jail time
A driver’s license suspension
In Minnesota, the legal blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) limit is 0.08%; however, you can be arrested and charged with a DWI for a BAC of:
Less than 0.08%, depending on the circumstances of the violation.
0.04% if you are driving a commercial vehicle.
Less than 0.08% if you are underage.
NOTE: You can also face criminal and Minnesota DPS administrative penalties for refusing to take a BAC/breathalyzer test when stopped on suspicion of a DWI or impaired driving.8
The penalties you face will be harsher if you have a higher BAC, if you have child in the car, or if anyone was hurt.
The criminal penalties you may face in court for a 1st offense of a DWI will vary depending on your BAC. The legal limit for a DWI is 0.08%. However a motorist can be charged with a DWI under this amount depending on the circumstances.9
For a BAC of under 0.16%, you will be charged with a misdemeanor and possibly face:
Up to 90 days in jail
A $1,000 fine
For a BAC of 0.16% or over, you will be charged with a gross misdemeanor and possibly face:
Up to 1 year in jail
A $3,000 fine
If you refuse to take a BAC test, you may be charged with a gross misdemeanor and face:
Up to 1 year in jail
A $3,000 fine10
For repeat DWI offenders, as well as first-time offenders arrested at 0.16 and above alcohol concentration level, must use ignition interlock in order to regain legal driving privileges or face at least one year without a driver’s license.
Interlock is installed in the vehicle and requires user to provide a breath sample in order to start the vehicle
Offenders with three or more offenses are required to use interlock for three to six years, or they will never regain driving privileges11
How to Sober Up
Eating food won’t sober you up. Food in the stomach does not absorb alcohol, it only slows it down. All consumed alcohol will get into the blood eventually.
Carbonation speeds up the absorption rate of alcohol in the blood stream
If you’re intoxicated, drinking coffee won’t make you sober. Alcohol dissipates from the body at a rate of about .015% blood alcohol content (BAC) per hour.
*AAA Minneapolis is in no way affiliated with any of the organizations listed above nor we responsible for your service or experience. Our goal is purely to provide information and resources to make safe decisions during the holiday time period