ST. PAUL – There’s no reason to drive after drinking, especially when Minnesota State Patrol Trooper Gordon Shank is on duty. For the second year in a row, Shank is the top DWI enforcer in the state with 216 DWI arrests in 2013, according to the Minnesota Department of Public Safety Office of Traffic Safety (DPS/OTS). Shank is among 37 law enforcement officers and prosecutors being recognized tonight as DWI Enforcer All-Stars during the Minnesota Twins’ pre-game activities at Target Field.
This is the seventh DWI Enforcer All-Star team of Minnesota officers and prosecutors selected for outstanding service in enforcement and prosecution of drunk driving.
Santiago Rodriguez of the St. Paul Police Department led metro-area law enforcement agencies with 116 DWI arrests, and Chad Myers of the Winona County Sheriff’s Office topped the greater Minnesota agencies with 103 arrests.
“Drunk driving continues to cause far too many crashes, deaths and injuries on Minnesota roads,” said Donna Berger, director, Office of Traffic Safety. “We thank these top DWI Enforcer All-Stars – and all our officers and prosecutors – for their service and dedication in helping to keep our roads and motorists safe.”
Last year in Minnesota, alcohol-related crashes caused 117 deaths – 30 percent of the state’s total traffic fatalities. In 2013, 25,719 motorists were arrested for DWI.
Nearly 400 Minnesota law enforcement agencies will increase patrols Aug. 16-Sept. 1 to combat traffic crashes, deaths and serious injuries caused by impaired driving.
DWI Enforcer All-Stars and Number of 2013 DWI Arrests
Greater Minnesota All-Stars
- Jeff McCormack, Austin Police – 44
- Chad Bonin, Blue Earth Police – 55
- Matt Ibberson, Brown County Sheriff – 16
- Ryan Flynn, Chisago County Prosecutor
- Matt Sobczak, Fond du Lac Tribal Police – 14
- Adam Connor, Lyon County Sheriff – 16
- Ken Baker, Mankato Police – 23
- Kyle Backer, Minnesota State Patrol – 81
- Phillip Bogojevic, Minnesota State Patrol – 74
- Raul Lopez, Moorhead Police – 37
- Paul Mathews, Pipestone County Sheriff – 10
- Adam Crain, Red Wing Police – 34
- Dan Fick, Rock County Sheriff – 10
- Joseph Jensen, Sauk Centre Police – 30
- Geoff Dowty, Sherburne County Drug Recognition Evaluator
- Josh Partlow, Windom Police – 14
- Chad Myers, Winona County Sheriff – 103
Twin Cities All-Stars
- Tim Tourville, Crystal Police – 71
- Todd Groves, Eden Prairie Police – 81
- Don Birdsall, Elk River Police – 31
- Adam Stier, Lakeville Police – 85
- Matt Olson, Maple Grove Police – 76
- Tony Gabriel, Maplewood Police – 48
- David Bernstein, Minneapolis City Attorney Office Prosecutor
- Craig Isaacson, Minnesota State Patrol Drug Recognition Evaluator
- Paul Henstein, Minnesota State Patrol – 123
- Mark Hibbard, Minnesota State Patrol – 160
- Kyle Klawiter, Minnesota State Patrol – 128
- Andrew Martinek, Minnesota State Patrol – 130
- Eric Micek , Minnesota State Patrol – 108
- James Swanson, Minnesota State Patrol – 109
- Jack Tiegs, Minnesota State Patrol – 113
- Gordon Shank, Minnesota State Patrol – 216
- Cory Schmitz, New Prague Police – 23
- Ryan Larson, St. Francis Police – 26
- Santiago Rodriguez, St. Paul Police – 116
- Joshua Davis, Shakopee Police – 23
A DWI offense can result in loss of a 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.
Tips to Prevent Drunk Driving
- Plan for a safe ride — designate a sober driver, use a cab/public transportation or stay at the location of the celebration.
- 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
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. OTS also administers state funds for the motorcycle safety program and for the child seats for needy families program.
OTS is an anchoring partner of the state’s Toward Zero Deaths
(TZD) traffic safety initiative.
Recent OTS Activity and Statistics
- To-date, there have been 172 traffic deaths, 15 less than this time last year.
- Minnesota Motor Vehicle Crash Facts 2013 is a summary of last year’s traffic crashes, derived from law enforcement reports and describes how, why and where crashes occurred and who was involved.
- The May 19-June 1 Click It or Ticket campaign reported 10,874 seat belt citations and 279 child restraint tickets from 329 law enforcement agencies.
- Final reports on enhanced enforcement for distracted driving during April 11-20 reported 827 texting citations from 308 law enforcement agencies.
- In a continuing effort to advance traffic safety in Minnesota, DPS awarded new federal grants totaling more than $8.5 million for regional partners to support overtime traffic safety enforcement and educational efforts through September 2014.