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Archie Ingersoll / Forum Communications Co., Published February 03 2010

Sioux men's hockey: Player found not guilty of driving drunk

GRAND FORKS, N.D. – A jury of six Grand Forks County residents found University of North Dakota hockey player Matt Frattin not guilty of drunken driving Tuesday.

The trial began in the morning and ended in the afternoon, with jurors returning a verdict after less than 30 minutes of deliberation, prosecutor Jason McCarthy said.

Campus police pulled over Frattin, a junior forward, in the early morning hours of Aug. 19. According to police, Lt. Tracy Meidinger smelled alcohol on Frattin’s breath and a test at the station put his blood-alcohol level at .12 percent. The legal limit is .08 percent.

McCarthy said Frattin passed some of the sobriety tests, but failed others. “This was a closer one,” McCarthy said.

Meidinger testified for the prosecution; the defense did not call any witnesses. Among the evidence the prosecution presented was a video showing Frattin that night.

Frattin was kicked off the team following his arrest, which was his second run-in with police that summer. He rejoined the team and began playing again in January.

In July, campus police arrested Frattin and Joe Finley, a player who graduated in the spring of 2009, for throwing objects into a street. In that case, Frattin pleaded guilty to a charge of disorderly conduct.

Messages left for Frattin’s attorney at his office were not returned Tuesday.

Archie Ingersoll is a writer for the Grand Forks Herald which is owned by Forum Communications Co.