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2 Douglas County deputies named 'DWI Enforcer All-Stars'

They will be honored at a Minnesota Twins game on Sunday, Aug. 7.

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Douglas County Sheriff's Office
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DOUGLAS COUNTY — Two deputies with the Douglas County Sheriff's Office have been named to the DWI Enforcer All-Star Team by the Minnesota Department of Public Safety-Office of Traffic Safety.

Corey Sammons and Alexander Herzberg are two of 61 officers, troopers, deputies and prosecutors named as DWI Enforcer All-Stars. They excelled at keeping Minnesotans safe from impaired drivers last year. Sammons had a total of 81 arrests in 2021 and Herzberg had 42.

The door opened and the handcuffed man was put into the seat behind me. I sat silent, heart racing, trying not to breathe too loud. I wasn’t sure if I should talk to him or just keep quiet. I chose the latter, but the silence was ominous.

All of the DWI Enforcer All-Stars will be honored during Minnesota Twins pre-game activities at Target Field on Sunday, Aug. 7.

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, according to a press release from the Minnesota Department of Public Safety Office of Traffic Safety.

"When you see these DWI arrest numbers, think about how each number represents a potential life-saver," said Minnesota Department of Public Safety-Office of Traffic Safety 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."

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Here's a look at some statistics from the Minnesota Department of Public Safety-Office of Traffic Safety:

  • 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% increase over a five-year period.
    The arrests took place in the first six hours of his 12-hour shift.

DWI consequences

Here is what can happen after getting a DWI:

  • 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

The Minnesota Department of Public Safety-Office of Traffic Safety offered up some advice. Here's what they said:

  • 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. It's the best defense against drunken impaired driver.
Celeste Edenloff is the special projects editor and a reporter for the Alexandria Echo Press. She has lived in the Alexandria Lakes Area since 1997. She first worked for the Echo Press as a reporter from 1999 to 2011, and returned in 2016 to once again report on the community she calls home.
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