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Mike Nowatzki, Published January 02 2009

New Year’s Eve arrests decrease

The number of drunken driving arrests on New Year’s Eve appears to have been down from the previous year in the Fargo-Moorhead metro area, according to police.

The unofficial arrest tally from Wednesday night and early Thursday was eight: two in Fargo, one in West Fargo, four in Moorhead and one in Dilworth.

Last year, a total of 15 people were arrested on suspicion of DUI or DWI in Fargo, West Fargo and Clay County, according to Forum archives.

Moorhead Police Sgt. Deric Swenson said three of Moorhead’s four arrests this year involved drivers stuck in the ditch or snowbanks.

“Mother Nature was on our side last night,” he said.

“It’s usually a fairly normal night for us, or better than that, because people are making their travel plans before they even go out,” he added.

Dilworth’s lone DUI arrest involved a driver whose car got stuck on the railroad tracks just south of the Stop-N-Go station when he tried to drive around the crossing arms, police investigator Hunter Rawson said.

Fargo police had more officers than cars on the streets New Year’s Eve, forcing them to double up in some cars. Domestic calls and people reporting possible drunken drivers kept officers busy, but no serious injury accidents or assaults were reported.

“They’re always pretty typically quiet,” Fargo Sgt. Glen Hanson said of New Year’s Eves.


Readers can reach Forum reporter Mike Nowatzki at (701) 241-5528