Whenever a holiday comes up, or a major festival is held, law enforcement agencies in Minnesota may use extra patrols to enforce traffic, alcohol and driving while impaired laws. Each summer, the annual WE Fest is held in Becker County, and authorities have released information on the number of people who are facing allegations in criminal court surrounding the annual Detroit Lakes area country music festival.
More than 50,000 people attend the event, according to the Forum of Fargo-Moorhead. Throughout the weekend law enforcement says that 18 people were arrested on suspicion of drunk driving. An additional 34 people were cited for alleged underage-alcohol offenses.
Other arrests were made, totaling 63 people in all–some people were taken into custody on outstanding warrants, or on allegations of assault or disorderly conduct charges.
Following an event or holiday weekend these stories often make the news. Statistics are released concerning the overall number of arrests following such events.
But, a criminal charge brought against an individual is not a function of statistical analysis. In fact, the law requires an individualized and particular basis to suspect a person of a crime. And prosecutors must present proof beyond a reasonable doubt in each and every case.
Statistics can often be misleading in the court of public opinion concerning the potential evidence that may or may not exist in each individual case–especially statistics concerning arrests for alleged drunk driving or alcohol offenses surrounding a summer event.
In a court of law, however, mere suspicion based upon the nexus of an arrest to a public event may not be sufficient proof. Defending against the state’s allegations is done on an individualized basis, based upon an analysis of the facts and the law.
Source: The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead, “63 arrested during WE Fest weekend; number of DWI arrests ‘trending in the right direction’,” Wendy Reuer, Aug. 5, 2013