The Super Bowl brings us some great commercials every year… and some that aren’t so great. One of the least popular commercials featured Justin Beiber dancing for T-Mobile, which gave Minnesota’s Wyoming Police Department a great idea.
Soon after the commercial was aired, the department posted a tweet that said “If you drive drunk tonight we’re going to subject you to that Justin Bieber @TMobile Super Bowl Commercial the entire way to jail. #SB51.” The tweet received over 16,000 “favorites” and over 10,000 “retweets” – even though Wyoming, Minnesota is a town of less than 8,000 people. It caught the attention of news sources like the Washington Post, who replied and said the punishment “seems fair.”
The Wyoming police chief told news sources that the tweet was a fun alternative to the typical drunk driving PSAs. When a police department writes a tweet about Justin Bieber, people are going to probably do a double take and read the message. When a police department tweets about DWI…well, that’s pretty normal.
The police department’s strategy apparently worked. It is common for police departments to report a handful, or even a few dozen, arrests on Super Bowl Sunday, but no drunk driving arrests were made the night of the Super Bowl by the Wyoming PD. Sure the Vikings weren’t in the big game this year, but keeping Wyoming, Minnesota free of Super Bowl DWIs this year is something worth applauding.
Considering Minnesota’s recently released statistics about driving under the influence, perhaps other police departments should take the hint from Wyoming.
More Than 2,400 People Were Arrested in Minnesota for DWI during the Holidays
The number of holiday DWI arrests went down from 2015, but the stats from the 2016 season still show Minnesota has a long way to go when it comes to driving under the influence.
Three hundred police departments across the state amped up their efforts to catch drunk drivers during the holidays. They collectively reported arresting 2,407 drivers on weekends and holidays between November 23 and December 30. Eleven agencies reported making an arrest where the driver’s blood alcohol content (BAC) was .30, greatly surpassing the legal limit of .08.
Minnesota doesn’t allow DWI checkpoints, so it’s not like these arrests were made by police trapping drivers who appeared to be driving fine, but just had a little too much to drink. At least in theory, the drivers pulled over by police officers all had a reason to be pulled over: they were speeding, running red lights, swerving, and so on.
Arrested For Partying Too Hard Over Thanksgiving or Christmas?
Many of the 2,407 drivers who were arrested during the holidays are still sorting out penalties and the legal repercussions of being charged with driving under the influence. Most of these drivers won’t be able to drive until late 2017 – or even 2018 – because in Minnesota, drivers convicted of DWI can lose their license for up to a year. Additionally, they face jail time and have to pay thousands of dollars in fines, court fees, and other damages. An ignition interlock device may also be required as a penalty for DWI.
It is possible to avoid a conviction and regain the right to drive in Minnesota even after a DWI arrest, though. Reasons that DWI charges can be dropped include inaccurate field sobriety tests, faulty breathalyzers, or even wrongdoing on the behalf of the police officers. Additionally, defendants who are charged with their first DWI offense may be able to use that as a defense to receive a mitigated sentence or charge.
Want more information on Minnesota DWI charges? Contact a criminal defense lawyer.
About the Author:
Christopher Keyser is a Minneapolis-based criminal and DWI defense attorney known for fighting aggressively for his clients and utilizing innovative tactics to get the most positive results. He has been featured in numerous media outlets due to the breadth and depth of his knowledge, and recognized as a Minnesota Super Lawyers Rising Star (2014–2015), a Top 100 Trial Lawyer (2013–2015), and a Top 40 Under 40 Attorney (2013–2015).