Minnesota Man Arrested For 28th Times For DWI

ows_150705582693799We have previously discussed the difficulty in dealing with recidivist drunk drivers.  However, Danny Lee Bettcher, 64, is something of an over-achiever.   He was arrested for the 28th time for driving while intoxicated.  That is believed to be a state record — a dubious achievement made worse by what you stated to court after his prior arrest.


Bettcher’ was seen drinking at a local VFW by a deputy who was aware of his history with DWI.  The deputy called into the police department that Bettcher was leaving the VFW drunk and police saw his run a red light.  He swerved down the highway while moving slowly.  The officer then stopped him and saw a beer can on the front seat.

Bettcher refused to submit to a preliminary breath test when stopped by police.  However, after refusing the test, he reportedly told the officer “I am way over. Take me to jail.”

Despite his over two dozen arrests for drunk driving, he was given a valid yet restricted driver’s license.  He is now looking at a maximum sentence is seven years.  He previously served four years for drunk driving. He has also in through rehab over a dozen times.  He has DWI arrests in not just Minnesota but Nebraska and North Dakota.

In 2010, Bettcher told the court that “I drink to get drunk.”  Yet, he still was able to get a valid (albeit restricted) license.

30 thoughts on “Minnesota Man Arrested For 28th Times For DWI”

  1. So many typos for such a short piece. Your headline reads, “Minnesota Man Arrested For 28th Times For DWI.” Why plural? Also:

    “That is believed to be a state record — a dubious achievement made worse by what you stated to court after his prior arrest.” “You?”

    “Bettcher’” – no apostrophe needed.

    “The deputy called into the police department that Bettcher was leaving the VFW drunk and police saw his run a red light.”

    “He is now looking at a maximum sentence is seven years.”

    “He has also in through rehab over a dozen times.”

    Next time you’re going for clickbait, try to proofread a bit more closely.

  2. For the record, he reportedly (according to him and court documents) has a history of “PTSD related to his military service.”

    Still, he belongs behind bars and — as others have said — it’s a wonder that he hasn’t hurt or killed anyone, yet.

  3. It is only luck and/or the Grace of God this sh!tbird has not killed anyone. He probably has less than 10 years to live. Give him the max and if he survives to be released, daily monitored Antabuse and urine testing, w/ lockup if not compliant.

  4. I say let him back on the road. I’m sure this will be the last of his DUIs, now that he finally made the headlines on the Jon Turley Blog.

  5. No company would insure this guy voluntarily. States force insurers to carry some “high risk” drivers nobody would touch otherwise.

    I know about bottom feeder auto insurers. They look for drivers, usually young men, often in the military, who have ONE drunk or impaired driving conviction. They charge huge premiums and manage to turn a profit.

    This guy is a different order of magnitude. Clearly a disaster waiting to happen. No insurer would want him as a policyholder even if he paid 10 times the premium of a driver with a good record.

    1. You really think that driving, with valid insurance, is high up on this dirtbag’s list of priorities? Seriously? He can’t manage to refrain from driving, while intoxicated, despite the numerous arrests and stints in prison, and you think that he is losing sleep over whether or not he will be able to afford his insurance premiums? News flash–people who are so unconcerned with the lives and safety of others, which has been demonstrated by their repeated contempt for the rules of the road and their inability to refrain from driving while intoxicated, are not people who are going to worry about maintaining their insurance policies. Not relevant, whatsoever, to the article.

  6. Just take the obese blob out, behind the barn, and shoot him. A menace to society and a waste of oxygen.

  7. Bettcher’ was seen drinking at a local VFW by a deputy who was aware of his history with DWI. The deputy called into the police department that Bettcher was leaving the VFW drunk and police saw his run a red light.

    After 27 convictions, why allow him to leave a bar, get behind the wheel and put other people in danger? Do they let known pedophiles wander through playgrounds/schoolyards and arrest them after they’ve snatched a child?

  8. Legal professionals are responsible for this travesty, with some help from the state legislature. This is one reason judicial discretion over sentencing is bad.

    1. Even under a lenient sentencing and parole regime, this man should have spent in excess of a dozen years of his life sitting in the county jail consequent to convictions for driving while intoxicated, driving while impaired, driving with a suspended license, and driving without a license. More if his acts warranted charges for reckless endangerment, vehicular assault, or vehicular manslaughter. (A great deal more).

    2. This man should have faced a lifetime ban on obtaining a driver’s license and placement on a federal registry of people who have received such bans. Even under a lenient regime, that ban should have been imposed 25 or 30 years ago, around the time of his 9th conviction.

    3. Restore the cane, the birch, and the pillory and stocks please. And allow legislative bodies to pass bills of attainder subjecting judges to them.

    1. Wait, he’s had 27 previous convictions, not 17 previous convictions. That quanta of offending should have netted him more than 25 years worth of incarceration at this point and a lifetime ban more than 30 years ago.

      1. Unless he was a wretched disciplinary problem in prison, was convicted with a mess of auxilliary charges like driving-without-a-license or reckless endangerment, or was convicted about 10x, that seems draconian.

  9. Wow, “Otis the Town Drunk” lives on !! Too bad Don Knotts isn’t around anymore to lock him up.

  10. Hey Prof. Turley, sorry to be a pest on copy editing or proofreading. I realize writing a blog requires fast thinking and writing, but at least proofing the headlines would be helpful.

    Minnesota Man Arrested For 28th Times For DWI

  11. “Minnesota man with record 27 DWIs completes prison sentence”


    MOORHEAD, Minn. — “A man convicted in 27 drunken driving-related cases in Minnesota has been released to residential placement in Clay County.

    “Danny Lee Bettcher, 61, was released Dec. 29 after serving about five years in prison for his latest drunken driving-related conviction, said Minnesota Department of Corrections spokeswoman Sarah Latuseck. Prosecutors said he blew through a stop sign on his motorcycle in Otter Tail County while his blood-alcohol level was twice the legal limit.

    “Bettcher reportedly holds the state record for the most drunken driving-related convictions at 27. His criminal drunken driving-related record goes back to the 1980s.

    “Bettcher was released under the Department of Correction’s highest level of supervision, during which he’ll report to a Becker County probation officer.

    “Bettcher is being supervised under Intensive Supervised Release, which keeps him on GPS and continuous transdermal monitoring.

    “Examples of conditions Bettcher may be required to adhere to include following the direction of his probation officer at all times, avoiding drugs and alcohol, not going into places that serve alcohol, not possessing a firearm, and submitting to unannounced visits and searches of his home at any time, Latuseck said.

    “Clay County Sheriff Bill Bergquist said he does not know where in the county Bettcher has been released. He said the exact terms of Bettcher’s release aren’t public information.”

    (I’m guessing that he’ll be heading back to the slammer — which is where he needs to be, as Paul noted.)

  12. It would be intetesting to know how many of the arrests result in conviction.
    I worked with a guy who had at least 6 DUI arrests during the c. 15 years that I knew him.
    He would refuse to take the tests measuring his blood alcohol content, and immediately call an attorney.
    The acquitals cost him plenty in legal fees, and he’d lose his license for one year for refusing the BAC tests ( implied consent).
    Given his “experience”, this guy in Minnesota may know how to play the system well enough…..at least in the past….to have avoided some of the heavier legal consequences.

  13. I do appreciate that he was driving slowly. 😉 However, giving him even a restricted license is irresponsible. At this point, he should be in jail for life. He is never going to sober up.

      1. Liberty Second – at what point do you think he will sober up? Sending him to prison for various short stretches has not worked. it is time for tough love. He is a danger to himself and others. He is probably already suffering from “wet brain” and it is clear he is not a good driver when he has been drinking. Wisconson does it, why not Minnesota.

  14. Wow, only by the grace of God has this man not killed anyone yet, hopefully. Even if a person with his history can manage to get a drivers license of any kind, doesn’t Minnesota require vehicle insurance to be able to drive the vehicle? Why doesn’t Minnesota do a ‘no proof of valid insurance, no drivers license’, because just who would insure this man?

    1. There are “sub-standard” insurance companies that will write a policy for anyone, regardless of what kind of driving record they have. It will be quite expensive.

    2. There are thousands in each state driving without insurance or licenses. They pay their fines and continue to drive, many with exemption for work. If they can’t work or are in jail, they’re effectively on the dole.
      They’ll plague us forever.

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