A current Walsh County Commissioner, who is running for re-election in the November race, is facing charges in Devils Lake Municipal Court.
According to The Walsh County Record, Ernest George Barta, age 64, of rural Pisek, was arrested Friday, Oct. 26, in the early morning hours in Devils Lake on three charges—DUI, leaving the scene of an accident and care required.
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.
His initial appearance is November 6 at 1:30 p.m. in Devils Lake Municipal Court.
If convicted Barta faces an enhanced driving under the influence charge, as his blood alcohol level was over .16 percent, the minimum sentence on the DUI charge would be $750, two days incarceration and license suspension of 180 days.