Rice County Chief Deputy Jesse Thomas joined us at Professional Pride Realty in Northfield for AM Minnesota today.  We covered a few different topics but primarily requested his presence to discuss having a sober ride home on New Year's Eve.

Thomas told us he was pursuing an Economics major at Minnesota State Mankato when he decided to switch to law enforcement.  He always enjoyed working with numbers but his sophomore year in college he decided it wasn't as much fun as he thought it would be.

Thomas told KDHL he enjoys his job because of "being able to help others.  Keeping people safe is what we are supposed to do."

The Minnesota Department of Public Safety reported this morning over 100 DWI arrests across the state from 6:00 p.m. Christmas Eve through 6:00 a.m. this morning.

This information is from the Minnesota Department of Public Safety website.

DWI Consequences
  • Loss of license for up to a year, thousands of dollars in costs and possible jail time.
  • Repeat DWI offenders, as well as first-time offenders arrested at 0.16 and above alcohol-concentration level, must use ignition interlock in order to regain legal driving privileges or face at least one year without a driver’s license.
  • Offenders with three or more offenses are required to use interlock for three to six years, or they will never regain driving privileges.

Speak Up and Plan a Sober Ride

  • Plan for a safe ride — designate a sober driver, use a safe, alternative transportation option, or stay at the location of the celebration.
  • Speak up – Offer to be a designated driver or be available to pick up a loved one anytime, anywhere. If you see an impaired person about to get behind the wheel, get them a safe ride home.
  • Buckle up — the best defense against a drunk driver.
  • Report drunk driving — call 911 when witnessing impaired driving behavior. Be prepared to provide location, license plate number and observed dangerous behavior.

The Minnesota Department of Public Safety also has information about the number of Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) arrests from 2013 to 2017 that showed the number one holiday for DWI arrests per hour was Halloween.  Check out the top 5:

  1. Halloween (4.0)
  2. 4th of July (3.9)
  3. Labor Day (3.8)
  4. St. Patrick's Day (3.7)
  5. Memorial Day tie with Thanksgiving (3.6)
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