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Coronavirus In Minnesota: DWI Arrests Down Nearly 70% From The Same Week 1 Year Ago

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- The Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) says arrests for driving while intoxicated are down nearly 70% from this time last year.

There are far fewer drivers on the roads amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Gov. Tim Walz's issued a stay-at-home order last Friday as 576 Minnesotans have now tested positive for COVID-19.

But officials say coronavirus has had at least one positive impact: there were 94 DWI arrests in the past weekend; compared to 293 arrests during the same weekend last year.

"One DWI is one too many! Let's all continue the downward trend. Stay home if you have had a few too many and always line up a sober ride if you need to travel to another location after drinking," OTS officials said Monday.

DWI chart
(credit: Office of Traffic Safety)

As a whole, roadways across the state are now fairly empty. The reduction in traffic has pushed Metro Transit to cut its service by 40%. But the State Patrol says the drivers who are still on the road are now more often speeding and driving aggressively.

In a daily briefing Monday afternoon, Gov. Tim Walz says traffic in the state is down 71% in rural areas and 78% in metro areas.

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