Drinking, Driving and the Holidays

The EPPD is participating in an impaired driving enforcement campaign now through the end of December as part of a statewide effort spearheaded by the MN Office of Traffic Safety. Along with officers from across the state, we will increase our efforts to catch impaired drivers during the holiday season.

Every time an officer arrests a driver for DWI, they may be saving a life – either that of the driver, their passengers or other innocent drivers on the road. To date in 2018, Eden Prairie officers have arrested 193 people for DWI. In November alone, 20 people were arrested.

Sometimes when a driver is pulled over for a DWI, officers find other violations or crimes. For example, last week officers saw a car on the side of the road in the middle of the night on Hwy. 212. The driver explained that she had pulled over in order to let her passenger urinate on the side of the road. The driver was driving without a license because her passenger (the owner of the vehicle) was “too drunk” to drive. The driver had a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) of .13 (the legal limit is .08).

In another incident last week, officers were alerted to a man who was driving after his license had been revoked due to a prior DWI. Officers found the man and watched him drive away from a gas station. After pulling him over and determining that he was impaired, the man was arrested for 2nd Degree DWI-Test Refusal, 3rd Degree DWI, Careless Driving and Driving After Revocation. In addition, his vehicle was impounded. His BAC was .17.

It’s easy to enjoy a festive and safe celebration without jeopardizing your life or the lives of others. Here are a few tips:

  • Plan ahead if you’ll be drinking and arrange a safe way home before the festivities begin.
  • Before drinking, designate a sober driver and give that person your keys.
  • If you’re impaired, call a taxi or ridesharing program, use public transportation, or call a sober friend or family member to get you home safely.
  • If you see a drunk driver on the road, promptly call 911. You could save someone’s life.
  • Remember, friends don’t let friends drive drunk. If you know someone who is about to drive or ride with someone who is impaired, take their keys and help them make other arrangements to get to where they are going safely.