No New Year’s DWIs in Austin

Published 12:40pm Thursday, January 3, 2013

AUSTIN — It appears Mower County drivers made better decisions on New Year’s Eve than they did last year.

Local law enforcement agencies reported no DWIs throughout Monday night to Tuesday morning, compared to five DWIs during that same time last year.

For the month of December, however, DWIs nearly mirrored last year’s numbers, increasing from 26 to 27. While State Patrol numbers have not been finalized and broken down by county, The Austin Police Department and Mower County Sheriff’s office tallied 272 DWIs in 2012. Final 2011 statistics showed 275 DWI arrests in Mower County.

“That’s been pretty consistent with where we’ve been the last three or four years,” said Austin Police Capt. Dave McKichan.

Many law enforcement agencies conducted extra DWI patrols on New Year’s Eve as part of a statewide December DWI enforcement campaign. The Minnesota Department of Public Safety reported Wednesday there were at least 300 New Year’s Eve DWIs across the state. Minnesota was going for its fifth-straight year with no drunken driving related deaths; however, toxicology results are pending from one crash in Deer River on Monday night in which one person died.

The state has averaged 295 DWI arrests during the previous five years for the holiday.