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Wednesday, April 23, 2008

One for the road puts Minnesota at No. 3

It’s the kind of distinction that nobody is happy about, not even defense attorneys.

According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, Minnesota ranks third in the United States when it comes to the percentage of adults who admit having driven under the influence of alcohol over the past year. Almost one-fourth of those surveyed owned up to driving while impaired, putting Minnesota only “behind” North Dakota and Wisconsin. Nebraska and South Dakota are Nos. 4 and 5 respectively.

That’s not surprising, given that the Minnesota Department of Public Safety said the state tallied a record number of drunk driving arrests -- 41,951 -- in 2006.

The Upper Midwest is becoming notorious as a hotbed of excessive alcohol consumption and drunk driving, even after decades of warnings and aggressive campaigns against such behavior.

Even with the recent controversy over the use of the Intoxilyzer in drunk-driving cases, it looks like Minnesota’s DUI attorneys unfortunately will have plenty to keep them busy in the foreseeable future.

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