By all accounts, it was a calm weekend for law enforcement covering the NHRA Nationals at Colonel's Brainerd International Raceway.
Captain Joe Schueller, State Patrol, said his troopers investigated fewer accidents, no fatalities and the number of impaired drivers also was down from past years.
"We're extremely happy with the weekend traffic situation," Schueller said. "We believe the number of impaired drivers was less due to the RAID team's presence."
The Remove Alcohol Impaired Drivers team, made up of troopers from every district in the state, worked the area hard, Schueller said, and he believes its presence was felt.
One example he cited was from Trooper Ron Silcox, who stopped a speeding taxi driver between CBIR and Brainerd. The driver apologized, saying he was speeding because of the large number of requests the cab company was receiving from people wanting to go from the bars back to CBIR or to home.
"People were aware of the RAID team in town," Schueller said.
In the Brainerd District from Friday through Sunday, the State Patrol made 20 arrests for DUI, 10 arrests for drug violations, seven arrests for active warrants and 13 arrests for driving after suspension, revocation or without a license. These numbers represent a 20-mile area radius of Brainerd, Schueller said.
Schueller said the most interesting arrest of the weekend came after a man accidentally drove his vehicle into the police only parking lot and up to the Breath Alcohol Testing van at CBIR. The man was tested and arrested for DUI.
The Crow Wing County Sheriff's Department also had a relatively quiet weekend, said Chief Deputy Dan Gottsch.
"Miraculously, it was a fairly passive weekend," said Gottsch, who heard from CBIR officials that the races attracted a record attendance.
The sheriff's department made six arrests for disorderly conduct and evicted about 20 from the racetrack.
Gottsch said 10 years ago things were a lot different. Twenty arrests today would have been more than 50 back then, and it was never known how the crowd might react.
Gottsch attributes the current low crime numbers to an older crowd and more race fans than party fans.
"Over the years we bounced so many people out of there, made so many arrests, the word is out," said Gottsch. "No one is obstructing our authority. Attitudes toward us have been friendly."
CBIR contracts the sheriff's department to provide security.
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