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Baseball, Hot Dogs, Apple Pies and DUIs?


The heartbeat of America may have skipped a beat this week as the Minnesota Department of Public Safety awarded its own DWI “All-Stars.” According to the Department, which honors police officers for record numbers of DWI arrests, the awards were handed out with an added bonus - pregame recognition on Target Field before a Minnesota Twins game.

One can only presume the winners were invited to enjoy the game at no charge as well, though the Department doesn’t mention it. With a huge corporation like Car-X sponsoring, the red carpet might have been rolled out in their corporate sky box.

The DPS also recognized three prosecutors as part of the 2010 DWI Enforcer All-Stars.

It’s still true that Chevrolet’s - along with other motor vehicles - go with baseball, but now the connection is inauspicious and not quite as Americana as the old slogan goes. Get a DWI or a DUI in your car and the officer gets the royal treatment at a major league baseball game? Many officers who netted over 80-100 DWI arrests were given the recognition for their extra-ordinary efforts. More ordinary results are a fraction of the arrests than what the recognized officers accomplished in a year’s time.

Is this a justifiable incentive? Not according to President Peter Buh.

"Recognizing law enforcement for doing its job is an important aspect of civic service. But these so-called prizes can raise questions about the motives of certain officers. If there’s a prize worth real monetary value waiting at the end of a DUI or DWI arrest, then there’s an inherent problem.” Buh, stated. “If we say to law enforcement that we have a significant prize waiting for whoever gets the most arrests this year and then continue to expect objective law enforcement from all sworn officers we are only fooling ourselves. Objectivity gets thrown out the window. Everyone knows it is human nature to compete, but this is especially true in the halls of police stations across the country. And now we have corporate America getting in on the act.”

Is this like adding bonuses to salaries? Attorney Buh stated that it’s not far off.

“If police departments publically announced that they would pay officers more per each DUI arrest they have over other officers, the citizenry would be outraged. Incentives of any type, other than the satisfaction of upholding the law and the Constitution, should not exist in this form.”

“DWI laws are valuable in our society.” Attorney Buh continued. “The laws are important, but equally important is an otherwise law abiding citizen’s rights and privileges in Minnesota. Earnestly going after numbers in DWI arrests for recognition can cost many people their futures. As I’ve stated many times, DWI arrests can devastate a home and they must only be initiated only in proper circumstances with strong and appropriately obtained evidence.”

Attorney Buh is founder and President of, a national lawyer referral corporation that encourages zealous representation of drivers charged with DWI or DUI.


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