NYE DWI Arrests Continue Low Trend in St. Cloud
ST. CLOUD -- Thanks to making plans, extra patrols and several more factors, DWI arrests in St. Cloud and Stearns County continue to stay low on New Year's Eve.
For this past New Year's Eve from Noon until Noon January 1, 2018, St. Cloud Police only made one DWI arrest. In 2016 and 2015, police made three arrests. While in 2014 they made zero and only one in 2013. Assistant Police Chief Jeff Oxton says he thinks the trend of low numbers has to do with people making plans ahead of time.
"There's always been a great deal of planning that goes into that night. People know it's a night where lots are going to go out and celebrate...There's a lot of campaigns both formally and informally that really suggest people need to plan."
Oxton says the formal campaigns you'll often see in the news while the informal campaigns usually take place on social media.
"I know on social media I saw people telling their friends, 'Hey if you need a ride tonight I'm not doing anything give me a call.' I think it's all of those factors that make people plan out their night better than what they do on other nights."
While St. Cloud PD focuses on the city of St. Cloud, Stearns County Sheriff's Office puts a lot of their resources into the surrounding cities within the county. Sheriff Don Gudmonson says they have had similar arrest numbers over the past five years.
This past New Year's Eve Stearns County made one DWI arrest in Sauk Centre. In 2016 the sheriff's office made four DWI arrests, two in 2015, three in 2014 and two in 2013.
Oxton says every year is different and typically the weather does have an effect on how many people decide to go out on New Year's Eve versus staying at home. Also, with the availability of more rideshare services such as Lyft and Uber, Oxton says it's giving St. Cloud residents more options on how to get home safely.