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West Fargo man with 14th DUI arrest called 'a menace to society'

Kevin Tegtmeier

FARGO - Bail was set at $15,000 Monday for a West Fargo man accused of what prosecutors say is his 14th DUI offense.

Kevin Tegtmeier, 60, was arrested about 8:30 p.m. Friday on suspicion of DUI in the 100 block of Fairgrounds Road in West Fargo, documents filed Monday in Cass County District Court show.

According to a police report, Tegtmeier didn't stop after he was signaled by an officer who noticed his vehicle's license plates were fictitious.

The officer noted in the report that he could smell a strong odor of alcohol and asked Tegtmeier to take a field sobriety test. He had trouble keeping his balance.

A subsequent breath test found Tegtmeier had a blood alcohol content of 0.251 percent, more than three times the legal limit of 0.08 percent.

Assistant Cass County State's Attorney Cherie Clark asked that bail be set at $10,000 cash and that Tegtmeier be placed on the 24/7 program. The program requires someone with a prior DUI conviction to submit to alcohol testing twice a day as a condition of pretrial release.

"I believe he's a menace to society," Clark said during Tegtmeier's arraignment hearing Monday. "The only way to stop this gentleman from drinking is to keep him in custody or on the 24/7 program."

Judge Wade Webb said he was setting Tegtmeier's bail at $15,000 based on prior offenses, and he agreed to put him on the 24/7 program.

"That's the highest bail I've ever set for a DUI, that I can remember," Webb said.

Tegtmeier is charged with one count of felony DUI, a fifth or subsequent offense. The Class C felony carries a maximum penalty of five years prison and a $5,000 fine.

In North Dakota, a DUI charge becomes a felony after five offenses within seven years. In Minnesota, the charge becomes a felony after four DWIs in 10 years.

A search of North Dakota and Minnesota court records shows Tegtmeier has been convicted of alcohol offenses in Cass and Clay counties, and in the Minnesota counties of Anoka, Stevens and Clearwater.

Tegtmeier was also charged in North Dakota with several driving under suspension charges since 2006.

In 1987, he was convicted in Clay County of driving with a blood alcohol content of more than 0.16 percent. He was charged with a DWI in Clay County again in 1988 and a third time in 1989.

A Clay County warrant for Tegtmeier's arrest was issued in March after he failed to appear in court after he was cited in December for driving without insurance, leaving the scene of an accident and driving without a license, all misdemeanors.

Webb granted Tegtmeier a public attorney Monday and appointed Nicholas Thornton as his defense lawyer.

A preliminary hearing is scheduled in Cass County District Court on Aug. 16.