This year’s Thanksgiving holiday in Minnesota was certainly no time for law enforcement to rest, as they nabbed 490 Minnesotans on the suspicion of driving drunk. The Minnesota State Patrol revealed the number in a social media post.
According to the state, typical Wednesdays average around 47 DWI arrests. However, on this year’s Wednesday preceding Thanksgiving, that number increased to 137.
The Wednesday before Thanksgiving has notoriously been dubbed “Blackout Wednesday,” a day that every year sees increased drinking and driving across the nation. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, over 800 people have died in Thanksgiving holiday DWI-related crashes in the last five years. The NHTSA also says one out of every three fatalities occurring during the holiday involves drunk driving.
In a report appearing on FOX9, Minneapolis Police Sgt Catherine Michal begged people to make good choices. “We can do it. Each and every single one of us can do it. Don’t get behind the wheel after you consume alcohol,” she stated, according to the news story. Sgt Michal herself previously lost her 16-year-old daughter because of a drunk driver.
Meanwhile, increased law enforcement patrols are again expected come Christmas and New Year’s. Overall, Minnesota drunken driving-related deaths have decreased in recent years, albeit sometimes increasing year-over-year. 134 DWI-related deaths were reported in 2006 while 95 were reported in 2015, the latter of which represents a slight increase compared to the 88 reported in 2014.