Officer Dan Hackett of the Santa Rosa Police Department -- No. 1 in DUI arrests in Sonoma County for 2011. Road Warrior photo

If you’re drinking and driving, Dan Hackett is looking for you. If he finds you, you’re going to jail.

The 34-year-old Santa Rosa police officer was No. 1 last year among Sonoma County officers in the number of DUI arrests with 112.

Hackett and 41 other officers from the county were honored in March by Mothers Against Drunk Driving and state Office of Traffic Safety for their efforts in DUI enforcement in 2011. No. 2 in DUI arrests in the county was Santa Rosa Officer Hiroshi Yaguchi with 70. Those 42 officers arrested a total of 1,502 DUI suspects.

Hackett grew up in Santa Rosa and became interested in law enforcement at Santa Rosa Junior College after taking a couple of Administration of Justice classes. From there he worked security for Santa Rosa Plaza and Coddingtown Shopping Center, working his way up to head of security for both malls. Then a little more than five years ago he joined the Santa Rosa police.

Hackett attributes his large number of DUI arrests to being one of¬†SRPD’s accident investigators, with a special emphasis on looking for DUIs. It makes a difference: Hackett had only 29 DUI arrests in 2010 while assigned to beat patrol, which didn’t give him much time to target DUIs.

He also works Thursday through Sunday nights, so he’s on duty during the hours when more people are out drinking.

He often pays close attention to downtown Santa Rosa on Friday and Saturday nights, looking for the tell-tale signs of a possible intoxicated driver — a slower than normal response time while driving in traffic, slower to stop at red lights or stop signs or even driving right through them.

Hackett estimated about half of his DUI arrests resulted from routine traffic violations and the rest from stopping drivers for such things as weaving or going the wrong way. Some arrests resulted from his being called to investigate accidents and discovering that a driver is drunk.

Of his arrests, he said he believes most either have pled guilty or the cases are pending. None so far have gone to a jury trial and none have been thrown out, he said.

Hackett, who said he rarely drinks, offered this advice to those going out to drink:

–Take a cab there and back home. It’s a bit expensive but not as costly as getting a DUI and losing your license.

–Use a designated driver who doesn’t actually drink. He said it’s common for him to pull over a driver who proudly declares he’s the designated driver and has had only a couple of drinks. But in reality he’s had several and is drunk.

Hackett says he enjoys his assignment, noting DUIs are one of the few arrests in which he can say he’s actually may have prevented someone from getting injured or even killed.

Here’s a list of local officers honored by MADD for their DUI arrests in 2011:

–Santa Rosa Police Officer Dan Hackett with 112

–CHP Officer Christopher Manley, 25

–CHP Officer Thomas Barto, 25

–CHP Officer Brandon Archer, 26

–CHP Officer Crandon Kopriva, 27

–CHP Officer Brooks Faraco, 28

–CHP Officer Nenad Gorenec, 30

–CHP Officer Blair Hardcastle, 31

–CHP Officer Christopher Davidson, 33

–CHP Officer Tim Snyder, 38

–CHP Officer Michael Ball, 39

–CHP Officer Christopher Mullins, 42

–CHP Officer Anthony Dixon, 50

–CHP Officer Todd Heron, 51

–CHP Officer Greg White, 51

–CHP Officer Juan Inguanzo, 51,

–CHP Officer Matthew Masciorini, 53

–CHP Officer Marcus Hawkins, 53

–CHP Officer Arthur Hernandez, 57

–CHP Officer Cyril Ruffin, 58

–CHP Officer David Stewart, 60

–CHP Officer Thomas Herve, 67

–Cloverdale Police Officer Rachel Cardin, 10

–Cotati Police Officer Chris Kaupe, 21

–Healdsburg Police Officer Nadia Mohamed, 13

–Petaluma Police Officer Nick Raccanello, 25

–Rohnert Park Police Officer David Sutter, 7

–Rohnert Park Police Officer Keith Astley, 11

–Santa Rosa Police Officer Tim Wilhelm, 35

–Santa Rosa Police Officer Michael Mieger, 52

–Santa Rosa Police Officer Matt Sanchez, 58

–Santa Rosa Police Officer Hiroshi Yaguchi, 70

–Sebastopol Police Officer Nick Belliveau, 31

–Sebastopol Police Officer David Edney, 38

–Sebastopol Police Officer David Harston, 39

–Sonoma County Sheriff’s Deputy Michael Peters, 4

–Sonoma County Sheriff’s Sgt. Mark Fuston, 18

–Sonoma Police Officer Jerid Heyne, 13

–Sonoma Police Officer Eric Smith, 13

–Windsor Police Officer Mike Mason, 12

–Windsor Police Officer John Gillette, 12

–Windsor Police Officer Don Fletcher, 13

To read about the top officers for DUI arrests in 2010, CLICK HERE.

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