Thursday, August 4, 2016


When Miguel Sano hits a home run, the crowd goes wild and fans celebrate his accomplishment. When an officer takes a drunk driver off the road, it's also an accomplishment that deserves recognition by Minnesotans for potentially saving a life.

To celebrate those accomplishments, the Minnesota Department of Public Safety Office of Traffic Safety (DPS-OTS) is recognizing 40 law enforcement officers, troopers, deputies, and prosecutors as DWI Enforcer All-Stars during the Minnesota Twins pre-game activities at Target Field today. The event is sponsored by AAA.
In 2015, the all-stars made 2,165 combined DWI arrests across Minnesota, protecting countless innocent lives from being changed forever. An average day in 2015 consisted of 69 DWI arrests in Minnesota, a crime that is completely preventable. The ninth Minnesota DWI All-Star Team has been selected for their tireless effort in the enforcement and prosecution of drunk driving.
"One in seven Minnesotans has a DWI on their record and that's simply unacceptable," said Donna Berger, Office of Traffic Safety director. "While DWI arrests have continued to decline over the years, we still have a long way to go. We are grateful to the all-stars and all of law enforcement for taking impaired drivers off the road, and for those who are committed to finding a sober ride." 
Top All-Stars Keeping Roads Safe
For the second consecutive year, Minnesota State Patrol Trooper Peter Schultz claims the top spot with 201 DWI arrests in 2015. Winona County Sheriff's Deputy Chad Myers led all sheriff's departments with 102 DWI arrests, while Jake Heckert of the Edina Police Department topped police agencies with 119 life-saving stops

DWI Enforcer All-Stars and Number of 2015 DWI Arrests
Greater Minnesota All-Stars
·         Jeff McCormack, Austin Police – 48
·         Steven Reese, Benton County Sheriff – 28
·         Guy Chaffee, Big Lake Police – 29
·         Jesse Anderson, Breitung Police – 17
·         David Grabowski, Crookston Police – 42
·         Matt O'Rourke, Grand Rapids Police – 37
·         Samuel McGinnis, Mankato Police ­­­­– 34
·         Jamie Meyer, Mower County Sheriff – 33
·         Michael Shei, Nobles County Sheriff – 33
·         Jeff Vee, Onamia Police – 27
·         Jamus Veit, Red Lake Public Safety – 55
·         Dallas Hamm, Rock County Sheriff – 28
·         Alex Nelson, Sibley County Sheriff – 25
·         Darin Vossen, St. Cloud Police – 96
·         Jon Beck, Windom Police – 13
·         Chad Myers, Winona County Sheriff – 102
·         Grant Feddersen, Minnesota State Patrol – 83
·         Thomas Wright, Minnesota State Patrol – 67
·         Kevin Voss, Stearns County Assistant Attorney
Twin Cities All-Stars
·         Adam Peterson, Carver County Sheriff – 24  
·         Brant Strandridge, Dayton Police – 34
·         Todd Groves, Eden Prairie Police – 44
·         Chad Streiff, Eden Prairie Police – 49
·         Jake Heckert, Edina Police – 119
·         Adam Moore, Hennepin County Sheriff – 73
·         Nicholas Jacobson, Lakeville Police – 30
·         Brad Drayna, Richfield Police – 30
·         Christopher Woodhall, Robbinsdale Police – 49
·         Santiago Rodriguez, St. Paul Police – 45
·         Antonio Brown, White Bear Lake Police – 33
·         Matt Butchko, White Bear Lake Police – 31
·         Andrew Veenendall, Woodbury Police – 42
·         Timothy Richards, Minneapolis City Attorney's Office
·         Darcy Gagnon, Minnesota State Patrol Drug Recognition Evaluator – 21
·         Andrew Martinek, Minnesota State Patrol Drug Recognition Evaluator – 41
·         Paul Henstien, Minnesota State Patrol – 116
·         Kendall LeMay, Minnesota State Patrol – 103
·         Kyle O'Shea, Minnesota State Patrol – 152
·         Gordon Shank III, Minnesota State Patrol – 141
·         Peter Schultz, Minnesota State Patrol – 201 (Top DWI All Star)


"It is an honor to be recognized as the top DWI enforcer in the state," said Trooper Peter Schultz, Minnesota State Patrol. "Every trooper, officer, deputy and prosecutor being recognized has worked tirelessly to get drunk drivers off the roads. Our hope is that one day we never find an impaired driver and every motorist takes the responsibility to find a sober ride home."


DWI Arrests and Deaths on the Decline

Through education, enhanced enforcement and awareness, an increasing number of motorists are choosing to drive sober. The 25,027 DWI arrests are the lowest since 1981, with DWI arrests declining by 40 percent in the last 10 years.



The overall trend also shows fewer motorists losing their lives due to alcohol. In 2015, 95 people died from drunk driving-related crashes, compared with 103 people in 2011, an 8 percent decline.
DWI Consequences
A DWI offense can result in loss of license for up to a year, thousands of dollars in costs and possible jail time. Repeat DWI offenders, as well as first-time offenders arrested at 0.16 and above alcohol-concentration level, must use ignition interlock in order to regain legal driving privileges or face at least one year without a driver's license. Offenders with three or more offenses are required to use interlock for three to six years, or they will never regain driving privileges.
Commit to a Sober Ride
·         Plan for a safe ride — designate a sober driver, use a cab/public transportation or stay at the location of the celebration.
·         Speak Up – Offer to be a designated driver or be available to pick up a loved one anytime, anywhere.
·         Buckle up — the best defense against a drunk driver.
·         Report drunk driving — call 911 when witnessing impaired driving behavior. Be prepared to provide location, license plate number and observed dangerous behavior.


About the Minnesota Department Public Safety
DPS comprises 11 divisions where 2,100 employees operate programs in the areas of law enforcement, crime victim assistance, traffic safety, alcohol and gambling, emergency communications, fire safety, pipeline safety, driver licensing, vehicle registration and emergency management. DPS activity is anchored by three core principles: education, enforcement and prevention.

About the Office of Traffic Safety
The Minnesota Department of Public Safety Office of Traffic Safety (DPS-OTS) designs, implements and coordinates federally funded traffic safety enforcement and education programs to improve driver behaviors and reduce the deaths and serious injuries that occur on Minnesota roads. DPS-OTS also administers state funds for the motorcycle safety program and for the child seats for needy families program. 

DPS-OTS is an anchoring partner of the state's Toward Zero Deaths (TZD) traffic safety program. A primary vision of the TZD program is to create a safe driving culture in Minnesota in which motorists support a goal of zero road fatalities by practicing and promoting safe and smart driving behavior. TZD focuses on the application of four strategic areas to reduce crashes – education, enforcement, engineering, and emergency medical and trauma response.

Recent DPS-OTS Activity and Statistics
·         Minnesota Motor Vehicle Crash Facts 2015 is a summary of traffic crashes derived from law enforcement reports and describes how, why and where crashes occurred and who was involved.
·         2015 marked the deadliest stretch in the last five years on Minnesota roads during the deadliest 100 days of the year (Memorial Day – Labor Day) accounting for 137 of the 411 deaths.
·         Law enforcement handed out 7,233 seat belt and 213 child restraint citations during the most recent Click It or Ticket extra enforcement campaign.

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