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Holiday DWI sweeps in Minn. net nearly 2,700

FAIRMONT, Minn.—One woman was arrested in Fairmont in far southern Minnesota on suspicion of driving while under the influence of alcohol on Christmas Eve — then again on New Year's Eve.

Nearby, a man was arrested on suspicion of a DWI on his way to the St. James Police Department to pick up his friend, who had been arrested two hours earlier for the same thing.

A St. Cloud driver refused a breath test at the scene, but recorded a 0.24 blood-alcohol concentration the next day, just before he appeared before a judge.

From Thanksgiving Eve — dubbed "Drinksgiving" or "Blackout Wednesday" by some — to New Year's Eve, 2,656 drivers were arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence, according to the Minnesota Department of Public Safety.

More than 300 law enforcement agencies across the state teamed up to provide extra DWI enforcement during that period, which is typically a popular time for alcohol consumption. In 2016, 2,407 arrests occurred during the same period, according to the department.

The most drunk was a person with a recorded blood-alcohol concentration of 0.492, in Coon Rapids. Eleven other departments found levels at 0.35 or higher as well. The legal limit in Minnesota is 0.08.

With the Super Bowl coming up, the Public Safety Department encouraged people to plan a sober ride. During the Super Bowl, an average of 3.4 DWI arrests are made per hour, in contrast to the 2.9 annual average.