Kanabec County Chief Deputy Sentenced For DUI

BRAHAM, Minn. (WCCO) — A man who’s trained to make arrests for drunken driving is now on the other side of the law, sentenced for his own DUI conviction.

It was on Dec. 11, 2011 at around 2:00 a.m. when passing motorists spotted a car swerving and driving in the wrong lane on State Highway 65 near Braham.

Later, Isanti County deputies discovered Kanabec County Chief Deputy Sheriff Joel Bos, 34, passed out behind the wheel of his family car.

The first deputy on the scene snapped a photograph of Bos passed out behind the wheel. The deputy noticed that he had his foot on the brake and the car was still in drive.

When Deputy Kevin Carlson tried to wake Bos by shining his flashlight and yelling through the locked door, he was unresponsive. That’s when Carlson began pounding on the roof. When Bos heard the noise, he stepped on the accelerator and drove away.

Carlson and a Braham police officer pursued the intoxicated Bos. The squad’s dash camera clearly shows Bos hitting a ditch before finally pulling over, 47 seconds later. After refusing the field sobriety test given to suspected drunk drivers, Bos was cuffed and driven to jail.

The case was handed over to Pine County for prosecution to avoid any conflict of interest.

“To make sure there was no special treatment for one of their officers, that’s why our office was asked to handle the case,” said Assistant County Attorney, Michelle Skubitz.

Despite the fact that he fled the officers, Bos wasn’t charged with the offense. Those investigating the case say the fleeing charge likely wouldn’t stand up in court. There’s confusion as to what his intentions were after being startled awake and first driving off.

“I reviewed the facts and I reviewed the video tapes and I reviewed case law. The facts just did not support the charge in this particular instance,” said Skubitz.

Bos eventually agreed to a plea in the case of fourth-degree driving while impaired. Prosecutors say the deal is consistent with other first time offenders whose blood alcohol level remains under .20.

Under the plea deal, his sentence is consistent with as any 4th degree offender. Bos’ 45 days in jail is stayed provided he remains law abiding and has no similar offenses. He will be on two years of probation. Bos will also have to pay a $400 fine and related court costs and surcharges.

Lastly, he will undergo chemical use assessment, attend an eight-hour program and participate in a Mothers Against Drunk Driving panel, where offenders must listen to the stories of victims of drunk drivers.

Bos remains on administrative leave from the County pending an internal investigation.

More from Bill Hudson
  • Novaman

    A 60 second car chase is well more than enough to charge for fleeing. Since the officer in the case was at various times the Duty Sergeant, or the Desk Sergeant, this man is paid for the sense of good judgement he uses when citizens/ peoples lives, and the safety of other officers are at stake. This should be taken up with the Attorney generals office, and sanctions should be imposed on the prosecutors office. The County next door in two rural communities is not a fair change of venue, and we should all be delirious that this was done so quickly, and so quietly under our noses. I applaud the arresting officers, they all know this guy “dodged a bullet” so to speak.

    Complain to the Pine County Prosecutors Office, and the MN State Attorney Generals Office, Department of Public Safety Division.

    • ez

      For what purpose? The County Attorney is an elected constitutional position and just as police have discretion to arrest or release so does the county attorney. Did he dodge a bullet, heck yes. But there is no way anyone will charge the county attorney’s office at all.

      • Novaman

        The term is called “malfeasance of office.” Or,
        possibly corruption, or complicity charges.
        I said complain. Call to complain.
        Nobody here suggested “Charging the DA’s Office”
        Until now.

        Get a grip on things man.

  • Ronski

    I agree with Novaman. This guy got the velvet glove treatment, he fled police officers while drunk. ANY other person would be charged with the crime, but the good ole boy system came through for him because he’s a cop.


    • Crystal

      I have to agree with you Ronski! This is not surprising though. Look at all of the men and women either working for the state or government. Lawyers, police officers, etc. can get pulled over and charged for a related drunk driving and it gets blasted all over the news and the end outcome….. pathetic. But when ordinary citizens get pulled over and charged with drunk driving its not only blasted all over tv in some cases everybody judges them so crucially. But thats what happens when us ordinary citizens don’t have the upper hand in the relationship.

  • TL the alligator

    this guy should absolutely be held to A HIGHER STANDARD…but no, leave it to the cops to not only go easy on him but outright decline to charge him with evading like ANY OTHER CITIZEN WOULD BE…..this stinks like most police favortism does……just callin it like it is…..he should be held to account much more severly than a regular person yet he is not, just why is that mr. policemen?….i can answer that—-because the pigs always cover for each other, thats why.

  • MN Cop

    I guess I can’t really speak for this case. I wasn’t there. None of you were. I can say that I have been behind drunk drivers with my emergency lights and siren on for upwards of 3/4 of a mile before they stopped. While I have never had a “slumper” with his foot on the brake and the vehicle in drive personally, some of my partners have. They do tend to take off when woken and we havn’t charged anyone with fleeing for it. We even had a guy take off from a traffic stop so he could toss his dope, only to stop several hundred yards later. He wasn’t charged with fleeing. In order to be charged with it you need to not only continue but take some sort of evasive action, such as shutting off your lights, turning quickly, driving at a high rate of speed, etc. So…I have been in pursuits, and I have had drivers not stop when I directed them to…and again I wasn’t on this stop and none of us know all the details to call foul. Maybe he deserves it, maybe he doesn’t. The county attorney in Pine County had all the facts and made the decision. This was obvioulsy going to be scrutinized and I can’t imagine him trying to sweep it under the rug. The charge probably didn’t fit the situation.

    • Another MN Cop

      Well said, MN Cop. Everyone on here thinks “regular citizens” get such harsh treatment while cops get the “velvet glove” as some idiot above put it. Funny your comments haven’t drawn a response…most likely because everyone knows you’re right. In reality, there’s no way this should have been charged as fleeing. I have had this exact scenario play out myself. Slumper wakes up, doesn’t know where they are, is startled by people with flashlights yelling and pounding on the window and roof, and takes off. It’s not implausible. This cop didn’t get any deal a regular citizen wouldn’t have gotten.

      • Casey LAPD

        This is a POLICE OFFICER we’re talking about here. Not some normal “Joe drunk guy” as you would have us – believe.He knows what the heck is going on without exception. PERIOD. Give us all a break. You got some problems buddy. get some help.

        What a moronic position to take, and to say it out-loud you should go back to the military.

        • ez

          Although he was a police officer, he was still drunk. Once drunk, judgement goes out the window.

      • Mark

        Gestapo of a feather, stick together.

      • cophavetheirownrulebook

        I wish that you could articulate your point without calling people names. That really distracts from your credibility and does not benefit society whatsoever. If anything it perpetuates stigmata against police officers.

    • Kelly Peterson

      Nice try.

      Not buying.

    • MN Cop

      Casey LAPD, mark, cophavetheirownrulebook, and others

      Well now…I was only speaking for the case itself and not about the conduct of the deputy. Alcohol causes normal people, who would not make a conscious decision to drive drunk, to do very stupid things. This deputy obviously made a mistake and very luckily didn’t kill himself or another motorist that night. I was not defending him or his actions, only that of the prosecuter in the case. The stayed 45 day sentence and $400 fine are consistant with what I see in my cases. I didn’t watch the video of the story until just now, I commented only after reading it. Even after that I can see that he didn’t attempt to flee, but simply took his foot of the brake and left after being startled awake. Don’t care if he is a cop…he was very intoxicated. We are not super-human, we are regular people with a not so regular job. Should he be held to a higher standard? Sure, from the law enforcement community. In court? Nope…just like anyone else. I did not defend his actions at all in my last post. I only made observations regarding the case based on what WCCO reported. I have arrested many drunk drivers during my career. I feel terrible that some of them lose their jobs over it, such as truck drivers. I get past that by thinking about what the arrest avoided, like a crash. If this deputy looses his job he deserves it. He is the one who made the choice to go out and drink without a plan to get home. That is where people make their mistake, not while at the bar getting hammered. Before they even leave thier house. Make a plan, designate a driver, get home safe. Thanks…

  • See BS

    Alcohol is a powerful substance and law enforcement people are humans beings too.

  • Jessi

    This deputy has missed court due to his drunken acts. He is not a good example of any officer in the state or nation. This did get over rather quickly too. None of us would have had that treatment. Our county (I live here) is a very corrupt place. A previous sheriff is looking at (possibly sentenced) with felony fraud. Our current deputies speed into town, sometimes with lights on but no sirens–only to meet up at the local Holiday station to chat with each other. Not kidding either. What an example to set for the kids who have also noticed it due to us parents pointing it out to them. And yep, the kids saw the same deputy pass us on the way into town only to be sipping coffee at the gas station. Deputies have been caught sleeping, not following up, and telling the very people who pay them that the case is not worth their time or they just don’t have a cause of complaint. We also have another deputy who likes to swerve his car toward you when driving near bar rush time. He does not pass the center line but if you swerve then ya get pulled over. Not a big deal since I am only going home at that time but just the same, fire the entire force up here and replace it with officers who want to do the job.

    • Casy


    • White Lightning

      Uh huh. “and then there was this one time….at band camp….” Sounds like someone is upset w/ law enforcement because of her recent trip to jail after the county took her kids away. Do you have any actual facts, or are you just irritated because the cops won’t stop harassing you and your babys’ daddy?

      • Hank Jr.

        Yahoo! Now there’s some real trash-talking there,


        Alright then, HMM HMM.

        Got any more of that potted meat and sody crackers?

      • cophavetheirownrulebook

        I think that the keyword here is “harassing”. That is quite different than protecting and serving the community.

  • Novaman

    After seeing the defensive posts to this thread, and for picking e-fights with total strangers, admittedly from “supposed” Peace Officers, defending the obvious by saying “I wasn’t there”, YOU ARE FULL OF IT.

    We have eyes, and saw enough to see that yeah, he was startled when he woke up. Yeah he was drunk, and yeah he is a licensed Peace Officer. It’s obvious, that he tried to take off, but realized that when he couldn’t possibly get away, he stopped, and not very well at it. He deserves to lose his Peace Board status – period. End of pension, end of benefits, end of support. No sympathy for the drunk cop. I’m tired of the double standard. Never ever had a DWI, but the shame, and the disgust that being arrested at work, by work, from work, should be enough as a witness of drunk driving accidents, and killings from misappropriated alcohol, (Which is what this was) should never ever be allowed to surface in the rank and file of POLICE OFFICERS. As it is, this is the protections given them by the system. Drug use is next. Maybe a little Assault, and Battery.

    To “cop” an attitude at/to someone’s opinion on here, and to try to assassinate their character is what children do. What are you fricken ten years old?

    You are correct in your assertion about the corruption in our government.
    Make the calls. Do something about it.

    See something, say something. Touche’

    • Bruce Lee

      Bravo Novaman, run for office.
      I’ll vote for ya.

    • Mark

      Amen brother. Very eloquently put.

    • cophavetheirownrulebook

      I completely agree. He is human and should be treated as such, we make mistakes…but he definitely should lose any ability to continue his position with any law enforcement agency.

      He should be treated normally and fairly as far as criminal penalties but there should definitely be increased scrutiny and civic penalties for molesting the public trust and tarnishing his badge and the hard work of many law enforcement officers that genuinely do care about helping the community.

  • cophavetheirownrulebook

    I agree that it is frustrating and you may feel that the cop should be charged with fleeing but the law is fair. It is very common for minor charges to be dismissed in a DWI. I’m not a lawyer and cant not cite cases or specific statues regarding it, but I can definitely say that I have experienced this.

    Say if you are speeding during your DWI stop or commit other driving offenses, you are NOT charged with them. The DWI trumps them and that is what you are charged with.

    I do agree that cops should be held to a higher standard but I will also adamantly agree that cops are human and entitled to mistakes.

    HOWEVER, it is obvious that there is preferential treatment here. 4th Degree DWI is up to 90 days in jail AND a $!000 fine not $400 (plus court costs, chemical evaluation costs etc). He should also be charged with refusal to submit to the breath test which carries additional civic penalties.

    I also find it interesting that his BAC was not listed. They mention .20 in the article but MN has lowered the enhanced DWI penalties condition from .20 to .16. This means that if he was .16 or above that it counts as a DWI with an aggravating factor (essential 2 DWIs). Depending on his BAC he should be made to use the interlock ignition device as well.

    Also interesting is that his entire sentence was stayed. I have never heard of that before. Every case that I have heard of includes at least 2 days served (can be in a program – separate from the MADD panel and chemical evaluation) and then the remaining sentence stayed.

    Definitely preferential treatment, but at least there is a hint of accountability.

  • observerfromafar

    I have read all the above posts and think maybe we are missing the boat on who is to blame. I think the cops catch the bad guys and the county attorney deals with them after that. The county attorney declined charges on the fleeing and gave the sweet plea deal. I dont belive law enforcement has input on charging and sentancing. Once the jail cell door closes they are out of the loop and it falls on the attorney.

  • Novaman

    Driving drunk is a Misdemeanor. Fleeing/evading arrest by police in an alcohol incident is a Felony. The Prosecutor dropped the Felony to charge a misdemeanor. Police Officers drink because it’s not stigmatized, apparently socially acceptable to become stupid drunk, (trust me on this the Officers I know drink FAR TOO MUCH, – so much so that they actually wear it as a badge of honor)), they do this to cope with the job, the fact that they have no other social life, and they only date, or socialize with other cops who, DRINK TOO MUCH. This is a social problem that’s become a LEGAL problem. this is not a judgment. it is an observation from years, and years of reflection. The SYSTEM protects this way of life. I don’t have an issue with cops. I made the first statement that the arresting Officers are to be applauded. The problem here, is the Prosecutors Office had chosen to treat this case as any other case, and not using the mitigating factors that would otherwise send you, or I to Jail. This goes for ANYBODY in any Law Enforcement career. You are given a free pass BECAUSE you are a reflection of the rank and file.
    This Officer was a CHIEF DEPUTY, not a beat cop. This person was a Supervisor of other Officers, and the public safety of your mom, my dad, my wife, your daughter, and everyone else… Are you kidding me that he deserves a break because he’s human, or has a tough job, or was his first time? Taking off, after seeing the Police, and the red lights, and playing pong with the ditches is a pretty good indication he was trying to get away, and if I was on that jury, I would convict. He still could be convicted on the charge if the matter was brought to a Grand Jury. Since it was not charged, This COULD actually be the case here. Start filming things with your phone. Post the videos to Youtube. Empower yourself. Some really good posts here. Thanks for sharing your opinions with me on this.

  • Novaman

    *******************TODAY’S NEWS**************************
    Police: Mother Drove Drunk, Tried to Flee Officers With Kid in Car

    Minnetonka police say a woman drove drunk and tried to speed away from officers, all while her daughter in the car.

    According to the report, Anna Nyenhuis was initially pulled over Monday for having expired tabs. When the officer walked back to his squad, police say Nyenhuis sped away.

    Police caught up with the woman about a mile away and found her 9-year-old daughter in the car, according to the report.

    The Minnetonka Police Department says Nyenhuis blew a 0.14 during a breathalyzer test.

    She has now been charged with DWI and fleeing a peace officer.

    • copshavetheirownrulebook

      Perhaps it is only misdemeanors and traffic offenses that are trumped by the DWI. I am not saying with authority but only commenting on my past experiences.

      Regardless I agree that there should be consistency. If she is charged with fleeing, so should this (ex)officer. If he is not charged, she should not be.

  • http://www.dwihitparade.com/2012/01/11/minnesota-dash-cam-of-arrest-of-chief-deputy-joel-bos-on-dui-jail-sentence-suspended/ Minnesota: dash cam of arrest of Chief Deputy Joel Bos on DUI; jail sentence suspended | DWI Hit Parade!

    […] From WCCO   BRAHAM, Minn. (WCCO) — A man who’s trained to make arrests for drunken driving is now on the other side of the law, sentenced for his own DUI conviction. It was on Dec. 11, 2011 at around 2:00 a.m. when passing motorists spotted a car swerving and driving in the wrong lane on State Highway 65 near Braham. Later, Isanti County deputies discovered Kanabec County Chief Deputy Sheriff Joel Bos, 34, passed out behind the wheel of his family car. ….MORE […]

  • DJ

    Back In The Late 70′;s The Police Chief That I Road With Told Me Fines Were Double For Law Enforcement Officers, Who Violated The Law. He Maybe A Good Guy, But I Think He May Have A Drinking Problem. Back In 09/09/1997 He Was Charged With Under Age Consumption. IF YOU HAVE TO DRINK BECAUSE OF YOUR JOB, THEN FIND ANOTHER ONE!!!!!

    • ez

      I think that police officer was lying to you. That is unconstitutional my friend.

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