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State Rep. Kelsh arrested on DUI charge

FARGO — North Dakota state Rep. Scot Kelsh, D-Fargo, was arrested Monday night by the North Dakota State Highway Patrol on suspicion of driving under the influence.

Kelsh, 51, was arrested about 11:30 p.m. on Interstate 29 in Fargo and booked into the Cass County Jail, said patrol Capt. Bryan Niewind.

Niewind said the Class B misdemeanor driving under the influence charge filed in Cass County District Court against Kelsh is for a first-time offense.

Kelsh, who has been in the state Legislature since 1996, voted in favor of more stringent DUI laws in the legislative session this year.

He is a firefighter with the Fargo Fire Department.

Fire Chief Steve Dirksen said the department is handling the charge against Kelsh as a personnel matter, and that he could not comment on how it could affect his job.

Dirksen said departmental discipline in DUI cases is based on the severity of the offense, and that no decision on discipline will be made until the case concludes.

Kelsh said he could not comment on the advice of his attorney.