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‘DWI Enforcer All-Stars’ Honored at Minnesota Twins Game for Getting Impaired Drivers Off Roads
Red Lake Police Officer Patrick Bendel Leads State With 248 Arrests in 2021; Throwing Ceremonial First Pitch
ST. PAUL — To honor those who excelled at keeping Minnesotans safe from impaired drivers last year, the Minnesota Department of Public Safety Office of Traffic Safety (DPS-OTS) is recognizing 61 officers, troopers, deputies and prosecutors. They represent the DWI Enforcer All-Star team and will be honored during Minnesota Twins pre-game activities at Target Field on Sunday, Aug. 7. Hiway Credit Union is helping sponsor the event.
“When you see these DWI arrest numbers, think about how each number represents a potential life-saver,” said DPS-OTS Director Mike Hanson. “And not just your life or the lives of innocent loved ones on the road. Because of the efforts of the DWI All-Stars, impaired drivers are in the back of a squad car, not an ambulance or hearse. It’s an opportunity to change behaviors, seek help and stay alive.”
Enforcement Protecting Lives from Impairment Dangers on the Road
In 2021, the All-Stars made 4,193 combined DWI arrests across Minnesota. Their efforts contributed to the more than 24,000 DWI arrests made by all of law enforcement last year.
Alcohol, cold medicine, prescription medication, recently legalized THC edible products or any other drug can contribute to impairment and a DWI. The All-Stars’ commitment to the safety of drivers, passengers, motorcyclists, bicyclists and pedestrians is protecting innocent lives.
Top All-Stars Keeping Minnesotans Safe
Officer Patrick Bendel of the Red Lake Police Department led all DWI All-Stars with 248 arrests. This is the second year in a row that Officer Bendel has claimed the top enforcer spot.
“I’m honored to be recognized as the top DWI All-Star Enforcer in Minnesota,” said Bendel. “Most importantly, I’m thankful for the work of the entire All-Star Enforcer team and law enforcement statewide in stopping bad decisions from turning tragic. Every life on the road is valued, and every person deserves to feel safe behind the wheel and get home safely.”
Gustavo Culbeaux from the Minnesota State Patrol led all metro law enforcement with 146 DWI arrests.
DWI Enforcer All-Stars and Number of 2021 DWI Arrests
Greater Minnesota All-Stars (Sheriff Offices, Police Departments, County Attorney Office)
- Patrick Bendel, Red Lake Police – 248
- Todd Simmons, Duluth Police – 117
- Tony Petrie, Hubbard County Sheriff – 94
- Eric Christenson, Rochester Police – 92
- Josh Wicker, Bemidji Police – 87
- Corey Sammons, Douglas County Sheriff– 81
- Nicholas Bender, Beltrami County Sheriff – 74
- Brandon Newhouse– Beltrami County Sheriff – 74
- Matt Sobczak, St. Louis County Sheriff – 67
- Chris Leonard, Buffalo Police – 61
- Wyatt Studniski, Elk River Police – 61
- Jamie Meyer, Mower County Sheriff – 60
- Tim Mikelson, Big Lake Police – 60
- Chad Myers, Winona County Sheriff – 53
- Larry Stone, Mankato Department of Public Safety Police – 52
- Nils Hansen, Carlton County Sheriff – 51
- Matthew Lisic, Wright County Sheriff – 51
- Nathaniel Younkin, Stearns County Sheriff – 48
- Tanner Clay, Winona County Sheriff – 47
- Chuck Lahman, Cass County Sheriff – 45
- Nick Lewis, Beltrami County Sheriff – 44
- Taylor Halverson, Baxter Police – 43
- Alexander Herzberg, Douglas County Sheriff – 42
- Seth Kuhn, Hubbard County Sheriff – 42
- Adam Suckow, Blue Earth County Sheriff – 41
- Chris Arkell, Blue Earth County Sheriff – 39
- Mike Wing, Otter Tail County Sheriff – 39
- Jonathan Stracek, Hermantown Police – 38
- Rachel Kniss, Bemidji Police – 37
- Clayton Aswegan, Elk River Police – 35
- Shaun Hoffart, Thief River Falls Police – 35
- Nicholas Moberg, Kandiyohi County Sheriff – 35
- Brandon Sell, Pine County Sheriff – 35
- Jeff Rowden, greater Minnesota drug recognition evaluator, Pipestone County Sheriff – 27
- Michael Hagley, St. Louis County Attorney
Greater Minnesota All-Stars (Minnesota State Patrol Districts)
- Zachary Borchardt, Minnesota State Patrol District 2700 (Duluth) – 117
- Elijah Allen, Minnesota State Patrol District 3100 (Virginia) – 91
- Zachery Fay, Minnesota State Patrol District 2100 (Rochester) – 83
Greater Minnesota DWI Total: 2,346
Twin Cities All-Stars (Sheriff Offices, Police Departments, City Attorney Office)
- Michael Ramos, Washington County Sheriff – 145
- Chad Streiff, Eden Prairie Police – 133
- Audra Rawlings, drug recognition evaluator, St. Paul Police – 131
- Jacob Johnson, Inver Grove Heights Police – 122
- Tommy Satele, Plymouth Police – 105
- John Wold, Richfield Police – 92
- Jaren Zech, Edina Police – 89
- Logan Larson, Centennial Lakes Police – 78
- Jake Green, Blaine Police – 60
- Alex Aase, Mounds View Police – 56
- Alex Forsman, St. Louis Park Police – 52
- Lucas Forster, West St. Paul Police – 51
- Ryan Olson, Coon Rapids Police – 46
- Tom Reis, St. Paul Police – 43
- Jake Nelson, South Lake Minnetonka Police – 40
- Aaron Pipenhagen, Ramsey Police – 40
- Andrew Olson, Coon Rapids Police – 37
- Vadim Romanets, Shakopee Police – 35
- Amy Tripp-Steiner, Minneapolis City Attorney
Twin Cities All-Stars (Minnesota State Patrol Districts)
- Gustavo Culbeaux, Minnesota State Patrol District 2500 (Golden Valley) – 146
- Keenan Jones, Minnesota State Patrol District 2500 (Golden Valley) – 131
- Steven Lindbeck, Minnesota State Patrol District 2500 (Golden Valley) – 117
- Kyle Koeberl, Minnesota State Patrol District 2400 (Oakdale) – 98
Twin Cities DWI Total: 1,847
More Than One Way to be Under the Influence
- In the last five years (2017- 2021), there were 459 drunk driving-related traffic deaths in Minnesota.
- Alcohol-related crashes not only take lives, they change them forever. An average of 344 life-changing injuries (2017-2021) are caused by alcohol-related crashes each year.
- Drugged driving accounted for 6,769 incidents from 2012 to 2016 compared with 15,133 from 2017 to 2021. That’s a 123 percent increase over a five year period.
- 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 blood alcohol-concentration, 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.
Make a Plan
- Designate a sober driver, use a safe, alternative transportation option, 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.
- If you plan to drive, refrain from drugs, whether legally or illegally obtained. Impaired is impaired.
- If you don’t yet know how a medication will affect your judgment, coordination and reaction time, either have someone else drive or wait to take it until after you get home.
- Buckle up. The best defense against an impaired driver.
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. These efforts form a strong foundation for the statewide Toward Zero Deaths traffic safety program. DPS-OTS also administers state funds for the motorcycle safety program, child seats for needy families program and school bus stop arm camera project.
445 Minnesota Street, Suite 100 | Saint Paul, Minnesota 55101-5155 | dps.mn.gov