Edina is one of the safest cities in the state, in large part due to strict drunk driving violation law enforcement. According to Minnesota drunk driving statistics in 2017, Edina had a DWI arrest rate nearly seven times as high as the city of Minneapolis. Police officers in the western suburb arrested 476 people in 2017 for drunk driving — an exceptionally high number for a city with a population of 51,350.
What’s more, according to the Star Tribune, the number of arrests has been steadily increasing over the past five years. So what’s behind all the arrests? State grant money, busy commuter corridors, and a police department that prioritizes safe roads have led to a large number of bookings. Here’s what’s happening in Edina:
In 2015, Minnesota Department of Public Safety issued a four-year grant to several cities around the state. This grant allowed the cities to hire full-time officers whose sole focus is on patrolling for drunk drivers. In Edina, the officer in charge of curbing drunk driving made 135 of the city’s 476 drunken driving arrests. While other cities received the same grant, Edina has become a statistical standout for its increased enforcement.
Edina is a relatively quiet suburb, but it is home to some of the busiest highways in the state. Highways 100, 62, and 169 make their way through the city, and they are where over half of the arrests in the city occurred in 2017. Highway 100, in particular, experiences a high volume of north-south traffic from commuters traveling between suburbs in the metro area. Over 200 DWI arrests occurred on this stretch of highway alone in 2017. While Edina had many drunk driving arrests, it was often residents of other cities who had their keys in the ignition.
Prioritizing Road Safety
Police departments across the state have a limited amount of funding that they strategically allocate for various enforcement initiatives. In Edina, the police department determined that driver safety was a high priority issue for Edina residents, so they stepped up enforcement of DWI laws. Edina is largely a bedroom community, with very low crime rates overall, so law enforcement is better equipped to focus on roadway violations. In fact, many of Edina’s DWI arrests resulted from drivers being pulled over for speeding infractions.
Getting Home Safely
While Minnesota DWI statistics indicate you should definitely think twice about drinking before hitting Edina roads, the same holds true for all roads in the state. Our team is here to help when you’re facing a drunk driving conviction, but the best course of action is to prevent impaired driving incidents in the first place. Mobile apps such as Uber and Lyft have made it easier than ever to find a sober ride home, so always use them when you’re unsure if you’re fit to drive. If you’ve faced DWI charges in the past, you can prevent another incident in the future with this simple advice.
Minnesota law enforcement has demonstrated that it’s getting serious about preventing drunk driving. Contact our team if you are facing a steep fine or possible jail time for drunk driving.