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NEWS RELEASE

Bruce Gordon, Director of Communications
CONTACT:
Scott Wasserman  651-201-7571
scott.wasserman@state.mn.us
Dave Boxum  651-201-7569
dave.boxum@state.mn.us
 
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 18, 2017
Officer With 206 Arrests Tops List of "DWI Enforcer All-Stars" Recognized at Tonight's Minnesota Twins Game
Father to Accept DWI All-Star Award on Behalf of Son Who Recently Passed Away

​ST. PAUL – Twins fans across the state see and celebrate an outfielder making a game-saving catch. When officers, deputies and troopers making life-saving DWI catches on a daily basis, there is no crowd or celebration, just pride in knowing they made a difference.

To celebrate those accomplishments, the Minnesota Department of Public Safety Office of Traffic Safety (DPS-OTS) is recognizing 43 law enforcement officers, troopers, deputies and prosecutors during the Minnesota Twins pregame activities at Target Field today. The event is sponsored by AAA – The Auto Club Group.

Making a Difference
The 10th Minnesota DWI All-Star Team has been selected for their tireless effort in the enforcement and prosecution of drunk driving. In 2016, the all-stars made 2,619 combined DWI arrests across Minnesota, protecting countless lives from being changed forever.

The all-stars, along with law enforcement across the state, helped reduce the number of drunk driving-related fatalities in 2016. Preliminary numbers show there were 74 drunk driving-related fatalities last year compared with 95 in 2015, a 22 percent decrease.

Top All-Stars Keeping Roads Safe
This year’s top DWI all-star comes from the St. Cloud Police Department. Officer Darin Vossen took 206 drunk drivers off the road. Minnesota State Patrol Trooper Steven Lindbeck led all troopers with 126 DWI arrests, while Hennepin County Sheriff’s Deputy Adam Moore led all sheriff’s departments with 106 life-saving stops.

“It’s an honor to be recognized as the top DWI enforcer in the state,” said Officer Darin Vossen, St. Cloud Police Department. “However, I believe every trooper, officer and deputy who takes even one drunk driver off the road is a hero who has potentially saved a life. It’s my hope that one day I won’t be able to find any drunk drivers on the road because that will mean everyone is making the smart choice of finding a sober ride.”

DWI Enforcer All-Stars and Number of 2016 DWI Arrests
Greater Minnesota all-stars

  • Jeff McCormack, Austin Police – 31
  • Jesse Anderson, Breitung Police – 25
  • Joshua Schroeder, Clay County Sheriff – 33
  • Andrew Fiebelkorn, Glencoe Police – 14
  • Jake Green, Mankato Department of Public Safety ¬¬¬¬– 25
  • Jamie Meyer, Mower County Sheriff – 27
  • Brady Muelken Mower County Sheriff – 11
  • Mike Schei, Nobles County Sheriff – 25
  • Rob Gilmore, Park Rapids Police – 27
  • Mathew Siefkes, Redwood County Sheriff – 17
  • Darin Vossen, St. Cloud Police – 206 (Top DWI All-Star)
  • Chad Meemken, Stearns County Sheriff – 40
  • Jon Beck, Windom Police – 28
  • Les Ladewig, Winona County Sheriff – 35
  • Chad Myers, Drug Recognition Evaluator, Winona County Sheriff – 74
  • Doug Inglett, Winona Police – 39
  • Josh Brown, Wyoming Police – 24 
  • Laura Isenor, Steele County Assistant Attorney
  • Mitch Elzen, Minnesota State Patrol – 110
  • Grant Feddersen – Minnesota State Patrol – 114

Twin Cities All-Stars

  • Dan Freiberg, Coon Rapids Police – 76
  • Cody Vojacek, Corcoran Police – 50
  • Andrew Robles, Crystal Police – 50
  • Michael Vai, Dakota County Sheriff – 47
  • Chad Streiff, Eden Prairie Police – 77
  • Shawn Murphy, Fridley Police – 26
  • Adam Moore, Hennepin County Sheriff – 106
  • Shane Schultz, Jordan Police – 24
  • Steve Wuorinen, Minneapolis Police – 140
  • Matt Farmer, Drug Recognition Evaluator, New Brighton Department of Public Safety - 105
  • Andrew Dahmes, Savage Police – 55
  • Josh Fiedler, Savage Police – 69
  • Santiago Rodriguez, St. Paul Police – 39
  • Audra Rawlings, West St. Paul Police – 40
  • Eric Gadbois, White Bear Lake Police – 42
  • AJ Veenendall, Woodbury Police – 67 
  • Jennifer Cross, Bloomington Assistant City Attorney
  • Paul Henstein, Minnesota State Patrol – 116
  • Kendall LeMay, Minnesota State Patrol – 111
  • Steven Lindbeck, Minnesota State Patrol – 126
  • Andrew Martinek, Minnesota State Patrol – 113
  • Kyle O’Shea, Minnesota State Patrol – 119
  • Peter Schultz, Minnesota State Patrol – 116 

Special Recognition
Before his unexpected death in October, Mower County Sheriff’s Deputy Brady Muelken kept his county safe by taking 33 drunk drivers off the road. Deputy Meulken’s father, David, will accept the DWI All-Star Award on his son’s behalf at today’s event.

“My son had a passion to get drunk drivers off the road, and today it was a great honor to stand up here with the other recipients to receive the DWI all-star award on his behalf,” said David Muelken, Deputy Brady Muelken’s father. “My son didn’t focus on awards or accomplishments; he focused on saving lives. Brady truly believed every drunk driver he took off the street was a life saved. Our family is grateful to the Mower County Sheriff’s Office for allowing Brady to live out his dream of working in law enforcement.”

DWI HISTORY

​2016 ​2015 ​2014 ​2013 2012 ​2011 ​2010 ​2009 ​2008 ​2007
​23,392 ​25,336 ​25,399 ​26,026 ​28,656 ​29,483 ​30,009 ​32,995 ​35,869 ​38,765

 
“Each year people are making smarter choices,” said Donna Berger, DPS-OTS director. “But even one drunk driver on the road is one too many. We thank the DWI all-stars who are making a difference and keeping our roads safe for everyone.”

“AAA has been battling impairment for much of its long 115+ year history,” stated Gail Weinholzer, Director of Public Affairs, AAA - The Auto Club Group.  “Recognizing those law enforcement officers across Minnesota who work diligently to keep our roadways safe is an honor.”

DWI consequences
A DWI offense can result in loss of license for one to six years, 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 useignition 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. If you see an impaired person about to get behind the wheel, get them a safe ride home.
  • 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

  • For the third year in a row, seat belt citations decreased during the summer Click It or Ticket campaign. During the two-week extra enforcement wave, officers, deputies and troopers reported 6,771 seat belt citations and 184 child seat violations.
  • Law enforcement statewide issued 1,017 citations to drivers for texting while driving and 1,517 seat belt violations during the April distracted driving extra enforcement campaign.

  

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445 Minnesota Street, Suite 100 | Saint Paul, Minnesota 55101-5155 | dps.mn.gov