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DWI Arrests increase in Minnesota in 2019

ST. PAUL, MN -- Nearly 200 people are starting 2020 with legal problems.

138 people were arrested statewide for DWI's from 6 p.m New Year's Eve through 6 a.m New Year's Day. That's compared to 111 made in 2018.

There were an additional 49 DWI arrests made from 6 a.m. Jan 1. to 6 a.m. Jan. 2.

That brings the total for the holiday to 187.

Preliminary reports from 2019 show 27,975 drivers were arrested for DWI, compared with 26,825 in 2018. That's a 4% increase from 2018.

The state has ramped up enforcement in recent years. In some of the state's most dangerous drunk driving counties, there are 18 officers who are dedicated to full-time DWI patrols.

From October 1st, 2018 to September 30th, 2019, DWI officers made nearly 1,800 DWI arrests, which was about 7% of the state's total arrests for that period.

That program began in 2015.

The Department of Public Safety recently provided funding for six additional DWI officers who will begin patrolling in the coming weeks.

Reporter Anthony Matt

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