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West Fargo police investigate alcohol source after 13-year-old hospitalized

WEST FARGO - Police here are investigating how a group of six teenagers obtained alcohol after a 13-year-old girl was hospitalized for extreme intoxication, Assistant Police Chief Mike Reitan said.

A parent of the 13-year-old girl called police at 5:15 p.m. Monday, saying the girl had just been picked up from an apartment where several juveniles were drinking. The parent told police the girl was taken to Innovis Health in Fargo because she was so drunk she was unresponsive.

Reitan said the girl was treated and released. She was among six teens, ages 13 to 15, drinking in the apartment while the parents were at work, he said.

Police plan to interview the girl and the others to determine who supplied the alcohol, he said, adding the juveniles may be cited for minor in consumption.

Reitan said West Fargo police typically get a couple of calls a year from parents whose children are intoxicated to the point of requiring medical treatment.

It's a potentially life-threatening situation, as such extreme levels of intoxication can cause a person to stop breathing or choke on their own vomit, he said. Teens, with their limited experience with alcohol, also are more likely to engage in risky behavior when drunk, he said.

"Their judgment is one of the first things that become impaired, and they certainly do reckless and dangerous things," he said.