« Continue Browsing

e-mail article Print     e-mail article E-mail

Published February 22 2012

VIDEO: With 29 percent jump in 2011, Ternes says Fargo police 'fed up' with drunken driving

FARGO – After making a record 1,127 drunken driving arrests last year, Fargo police are “fed up” and considering changing their message on the issue, Chief Keith Ternes said today as he unveiled the department’s 2011 crime stats.

The number of DUI arrests increased by 252, or 29 percent, from 2010.

For years, police and others have beaten the drum with campaigns and other messages preaching the risks and dangers of impaired driving, Ternes said.

“So, for us to continue to tout that message almost seems like a waste of time,” he said. “The new message that we’re considering is that if you drink and drive in the city of Fargo, you will be arrested, period. You will end up in jail.”

Overall, Fargo saw a 6 percent drop in crime last year, which Ternes attributed to the hard work of officers and also community members who aren’t afraid to report crime.

“What makes that even more remarkable is that is on the heels of an 11 percent reduction in crime that we saw the previous year,” he said.

All but two categories of serious crimes saw decreases.

The number of robberies jumped from 39 to 47 amid a rash of commercial robberies. Aggravated assaults rose from 159 to 182, a 14 percent increase, which Ternes said attributed at least in part to domestic violence.

The number of serious crimes and minor crimes reported were both at their lowest levels since 2005.

“Fargo continues to be an incredibly safe community,” Ternes said.

For more on this story, see Thursday’s Forum.