Mitchell Police officer charged with DUI after blowing twice legal limit, troopers say

The Mitchell Police Division said the City of Mitchell demands its officers maintain a high level of professionalism at all times.

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The Mitchell Police Division is a part of the Mitchell Department of Public Safety.
Hunter Dunteman / Mitchell Republic

MITCHELL — An officer with the Mitchell Police Division is on leave after he was arrested and charged with driving under the influence.

At approximately 2 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 8, a trooper with the South Dakota Highway Patrol was near the Lake Mitchell spillway when his radar indicated a vehicle driven by Justin Maas, 24, of Cavour, was driving at 41 mph in a 35 mph zone.

The trooper identified Maas, a patrol officer with MPD since Nov. 30, 2020, and detected a strong odor of alcohol from inside the vehicle. He also described Maas' eyes as watery and glassy. An arrest affidavit says Maas admitted to drinking a mixed drink at Thirsty's Bar.

A preliminary breath test issued by the trooper registered a .168% result — more than double the state's .08% limit.

Maas was subsequently arrested for suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol.


After a blood sample was drawn consensually at Avera Queen of Peace, Maas was booked into the Davison County Jail.

A Monday press release from the Mitchell Police Division said Maas was off-duty at the time of the arrest, but was placed on administrative leave by MPD pending an internal investigation.

“While the Mitchell Police Department may be involved in conducting this internal investigation, the Mitchell Police Department has had no involvement with the arrest or criminal investigation led by the South Dakota Highway Patrol,” the release reads. “Any decision regarding the criminal charges will now be made independently by the Davison County State's Attorney.”

As of midday Monday, Maas had been formally charged with driving under the influence and was released from custody after posting a $500 bond.

The Mitchell Police Division said while it strives to be transparent in an effort to maintain the trust of the citizens it serves, the confidential nature of personnel matters and the integrity of the judicial process demands that not all details be shared at this time.

The press release claims the city of Mitchell demands that its officers “maintain a high level of professionalism at all times,” adding MPD is committed to holding its officers accountable.

Liz Kitchens, human resources director for the city of Mitchell, said Maas has had no prior suspensions or disciplinary action lobbied against him.

Driving under the influence is a Class 1 misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in jail and a $2,000 fine.


Maas is set to appear in a Davison County courtroom on March 10 for an initial appearance.

A South Dakota native, Hunter joined Forum Communications Company as a reporter for the Mitchell (S.D.) Republic in June 2021 and now works as a digital reporter for Forum News Service, focusing on local news in Sioux Falls. He also writes regional news spanning across the Dakotas, Minnesota and Wisconsin.
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