Ask A Trooper

Sgt. Jesse Grabow

Question: I hear there that DWI’s can become more of an issue around the winter holidays. Can you talk about that? Thank you for all you do.

  Answer: Minnesota Law Enforcement is participating in a statewide campaign that includes extra DWI enforcement that started the day before Thanksgiving through New Year’s Eve. Over the past five years (2018-2022), more than 120,000 people have been arrested for DWI.

  Each DWI risks the loss of a license for up to a year, thousands of dollars in fines and possible jail time. Repeat offenders, as well as first-time offenders arrested at 0.16 and above blood alcohol-concentration, must use an ignition interlock device to regain their driving privileges.

  Even with all those costs, it’s still better than what could happen in a crash. Getting behind the wheel while impaired, whether it’s by alcohol or other substances, is incredibly dangerous. From 2017-2021, 49 people died in drunk driving-related crashes between the day before Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve in Minnesota.

  Alcohol-related crashes not only take lives, they also change them forever. Those crashes leave people with chronic pain, medical bills and other problems that follow them for years.

  There is some good news: These crashes are 100 percent preventable. The best way to save those lives is to have a sober driver. Either designate one from your group or plan for an alternative transportation option. If you see an impaired person about to get behind the wheel, speak up and get them a safe ride home.

  Also, don’t forget to buckle up. It’s the best defense against impaired drivers.

  A portion of state statutes were used with permission from the Office of the Revisor of Statutes. If you have any questions concerning traffic related laws or issues in Minnesota, send your questions to Trp. Jesse Grabow – Minnesota State Patrol at 1000 Highway 10 West, Detroit Lakes, MN 56501-2205.  (You can follow him on Twitter @MSPPIO_NW or reach him at,