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Duluth police officer charged with DWI, placed on leave

The 22-year veteran allegedly admitted to having seven or eight drinks and refused to submit to a breath test.

Daryl Lee Diver.jpg
Daryl Lee Diver
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A Duluth police officer has been placed on administrative leave after he was arrested and charged with drunken driving last week.

Daryl Lee Diver, 48, was off-duty when he was stopped on the night of Oct. 28. A 22-year veteran of the Duluth Police Department, Diver was later charged with gross misdemeanor test refusal and misdemeanor driving while impaired.

According to a criminal complaint, Diver was pulled over just after 10 p.m. near Sixth Avenue East and Central Entrance Drive. Duluth police officer Tyler Leibfried reported seeing his vehicle repeatedly strike a curb and nearly hit another car while changing lanes.

Leibfried observed Diver to have signs of impairment and asked him how much he had to drink. Diver indicated he had consumed three beers, according to the complaint.

To avoid a conflict of interest, a Duluth police supervisor summoned the Minnesota State Patrol to take over the traffic stop. Trooper Sean Hollencamp arrived on scene and noted Diver to have "a strong odor of alcohol about his person, bloodshot and watery eyes, slurred speech and slow and deliberate movement."

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Diver then admitted to the trooper that he had seven or eight alcoholic beverages at Grandma's and the Copasetic Lounge from about 6-10 p.m., the complaint said.

Hollencamp had Diver exit the vehicle and noted that he was unsteady on his feet and stumbling as he walked. He refused to take a preliminary breath test or perform any of the standardized field-sobriety tests.

Diver was taken into custody and read the Minnesota Implied Consent Advisory. He initially stated he would take a breath test but later refused, the complaint said. He was booked through the St. Louis County Jail and then released.

A criminal complaint was issued Friday by Hermantown city prosecutor Shawn Reed, who is handling the case to avoid a conflict of interest in the Duluth City Attorney's Office.

Diver was summoned to appear in State District Court on Dec. 19.

The State Patrol is continuing to handle the criminal investigation, while Duluth police said they are conducting an internal review.

Diver could not be reached for comment and did not have an attorney listed. Sgt. Ryan Morris, president of the Duluth Police Union, offered a brief statement of support.

"We just want to remind everyone that he has served as police officer — served the citizens for 22 years — and we as a union stand by and continue to support him as he goes through a difficult and unfortunate time," Morris said.

Related Topics: CRIME AND COURTSPOLICE
Tom Olsen has covered crime and courts for the Duluth News Tribune since 2013. He is a graduate of the University of Minnesota Duluth and a lifelong resident of the city. Readers can contact Olsen at 218-723-5333 or tolsen@duluthnews.com.
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