Here’s a wild story out of Walsh County (a rural community north of Grand Forks). Shortly before election day, on November 2nd, Walsh County Commissioner Ernest George Barta was arrested for DUI and leaving the scene of an accident.
The Record reports that officers had been on the lookout for a vehicle that possibly hit an electrical pole behind Dukes Car Wash in Devils Lake, starting a fire.
A Devils Lake police officer conducted a traffic stop in the Holiday gas station parking lot, where he stopped Barta’s 2019 Ram 1500.
The back window of the vehicle was completely broken, and a dent was found on the top back side of the cab. Barta consented to field sobriety tests, and failed them, subsequently being placed under arrest at 2:50 a.m. approximately. An intoxilyzer was used at the Devils Lake Law Enforcement Center, showing Barta’s B-A-C to be at .23, nearly three times the legal limit.
You’d think that sort of an arrest might have an impact on Barta’s re-election chances, but based on the results reported by the Secretary of State’s office it didn’t. Barta not only won re-election, he was the top vote getter in the race