Losing on the field can be difficult, but there is always another game to be won.

Losing on the road offers no second chances. That is why winning the drunk driving battle is the only option for law enforcement.

Deputy Matt Siefkes is playing to win against the dangers of drunk driving in Redwood County.

Deputy Siefkes took 17 impaired motorists off the streets in 2016.

To recognize his effort, the Minnesota Department of Public Safety Office of Traffic Safety (DPS-OTS) honored Deputy Siefkes as a member of the 2017 DWI Enforcer All-Star team for taking drunk drivers off the road and protecting lives in Redwood County.

The team was honored during the Minnesota Twins pre-game festivities at Target Field July 18 – AAA – The Auto Club Group sponsored the event. Deputy Siefkes, a six-year veteran of the agency, is among 43 law enforcement officers and prosecutors statewide on the DWI Enforcer All-Star team. This is the first time Deputy Siefkes has been named a DWI all-star.

All-stars made the team based on their total number of DWI arrests in 2016. This is the 10th DWI enforcer all-star team selected for outstanding service in enforcement and prosecution of drunk driving. The overall trend also shows fewer motorists losing their lives due to alcohol.

In 2016, 74 people died from drunk driving-related crashes across the state. A DWI offense can result in 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 a 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 their 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, offer to take them home or get them a 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.

DWI enforcement and education is a component of the state’s Toward Zero Deaths (TZD) 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.