Dakota Co. 'Controlled Drinking Event' Shows Impairment Cycle

Updated: 03/10/2014 10:57 PM KSTP.com By: Leslie Dyste

How much alcohol does it take the average person to become intoxicated?

On Monday evening, authorities in Dakota County attempted to find out by holding a controlled drinking event in Rosemount.

The legal limit to drive in the state is a blood alcohol content of .08.

In 2012, there were 28,418 drunk driving arrests in Minnesota, the most recent data from the Minnesota Department of Public Safety shows. In that same year, 104 people were killed and 2,644 people were injured.

Statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration show an increase in fatalities nationwide from drunk driving on St. Patrick's Day, which is coming up next Monday.

The event consisted of seven volunteers drinking in a controlled exercise to see how long it took for them to become legally drunk. The Minnesota State Patrol tracked their impairment process with preliminary breath tests.

"Not only is it a great tool to train police officers on how to better detect drunk drivers but it's also a great learning experience for the volunteers to truly know how much they can drink to become impaired," said Don Marose of the Minnesota State Patrol.

All volunteers were over the age of 21 and were given their choice of alcoholic beverages. Police planned to give the participants a safe ride home after the event.