WDAY: The News Leader

Published March 11, 2013, 05:25 PM

Local businesses try to decrease the number of alcohol related crimes

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) -- Fargo Police and area businesses are trying to crack down on a problem on the rise.

By: Kay Cooley, WDAY

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) -- Fargo Police and area businesses are trying to crack down on a problem on the rise.

From domestic abuse to assaults, most of the city's violent crimes are fueled by alcohol.

Powers: "It's a tough job."

Come bar time, with drinks flowing and people packing in, making sure drinkers haven't had too much can be tricky.

Powers: "We've been fortunate not to have too many incidents where we've had to escort people out but it happens occasionally."

In its nearly ten years of business, the HoDo downtown has not failed any compliance checks, but the problem of over-serving is touching down at bars around town.

Litke Sall: "I think we've always had a problem with it, and we still do."

Maybe contributing to crime rates in Fargo. On a national scale, 80% of domestic violence involves alcohol. Same with nearly 90% of assaults and 50% of fatal crashes.

Vettel: "alcohol, especially the over-consumption of alcohol, certainly plays a role."

Litke Sall: "It's just part of a symptom of a much larger alcohol problem the state of North Dakota has."

Many downtown Fargo bars have policies to stop over-serving from happening, ideally bringing down the number of alcohol related crimes on city streets.

Powers: "The key is training."

Every three years each server or bartender is required to go through an alcohol educational course..

And every night police are on duty, making sure they're following the rules.

Vettel: "We utilize both plain clothes officers to do walk throughs at liquor establishments along with uniform officers."

Powers: "When we've had a problem, if we call the police department, they're here now."

A collaborative effort, to help curb consumption gone way too far.

Vettel: "It's in everyone's best interest to make sure we're doing all we can do prevent that from happening."

Liquor establishments and employees may face legal charges if a customer is over-served.