Wendy Reuer, Published August 05 2013
63 arrested during WE Fest weekend; number of DWI arrests 'trending in the right direction'DETROIT LAKES, Minn. – Law enforcement authorities say the number of drunken driving arrests during last weekend’s WE Fest is on par with a downward trend they’ve seen over the past 10 years or so.
Becker County Sheriff Kelly Shannon said deputies responded to 329 calls for service from Wednesday to Sunday morning, a weekend when more than 50,000 concertgoers flocked to Soo Pass Ranch for the 31st annual weekend of outdoor concerts and camping.
During that time, 63 people were arrested on various charges by deputies, Detroit Lakes police and the Minnesota State Patrol.
Of those arrested, 18 landed in jail for driving while intoxicated, Shannon said.
A dozen of those arrests were made by the State Patrol, Minnesota State Patrol Sgt. Jesse Grabow said.
Grabow said the numbers are consistent with the past 10 years. Prior to that, it was not uncommon for his office to report upwards of 30 drunken driving arrests over the weekend.
“So we’re trending in the right direction as the number of DWI arrests goes down,” Grabow said.
During WE Fest weekend, the 13 troopers on duty made 661 stops and issued 161 various citations, he said.
Thirty-four minors were cited for alcohol offenses by state and local officers.
Shannon said the weekend was about as busy as past WE Fest weekends, but alcohol, drug and assault cases seem to be lessening, he said.
Nine people wanted on warrants were arrested and five people were arrested for assault, Shannon said, with 11 disorderly citations issued.
“Overall, I think it went very well,” Shannon said. “The cool weather really helped. People don’t get so darn ornery or frustrated when it’s cooler.”
The State Patrol also handed out 246 speeding tickets and 115 citations for seat-belt violations.
The State Patrol has started tracking designated drivers troopers find over the weekend as well.
Troopers found 43 designated drivers.
“That is up, too. It’s a number we haven’t really tracked for a long time, though,” Grabow said. “Obviously the State Patrol makes its presence known. We’re there to keep people safe to avoid injury.”
Readers can reach Forum reporter Wendy Reuer at (701) 241-5530