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DWI arrests down so far in Rochester during Stay-at-Home order

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ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) -- With Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz's Stay-at-Home order saying travel should be only for "essential services," traffic is down on roads and highways across the state. That drop in usage is also leading to significant decreases in two major categories tracked by the Minnesota State Patrol.

DWI arrests have gone down both in the state and the Rochester area.

There were 25 DWI arrests from March 17th to the 31st in 2019 in Rochester. There were just eight such arrests over the same period this year. That's a 68% drop. March 17th is the day restaurants and bars had to stop dine-in services.

The state as a whole saw 204 DWI arrests from May 17th to the 26th in 2019. That number was down to 88 this year over the same time frame which is a 57% drop.

Sgt. Troy Christianson of the Minnesota State Patrol says, "That's a good sign that people are staying home and not driving on the roadways and not being impaired."

The state also saw a decrease in traffic accidents between March 17th and March 26 over the same period last year. That number fell from 762 to 389.

Oddly enough, Rochester saw 61 crashes in each of the past two years between March 17th and 31st.

Sgt. Christianson is also keeping an eye out for speeding drivers as the weather gets warmer. "With nicer weather we also see speeds climb. It's important that people reduce their speeds, don't drive distracted, wear your seat belt, and make sure you don't drink and drive," he says.

Zach Fuller

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