Fargo man sentenced for ninth DWI

Christopher Brent Impola, 54, of Fargo has been sentenced in Becker County District Court for felony DWI after being reported as visibly intoxicated at a Detroit Lakes gas station.

Court gavel

DETROIT LAKES — Christopher Brent Impola, 54, of Fargo has been sentenced in Becker County District Court for felony DWI.

A second felony DWI charge was dropped in a plea agreement.

According to court records, on Aug. 9, 2020, at approximately 2:23 a.m., a Detroit Lakes police officer went to the Holiday gas station on the report of a possibly intoxicated driver.


A concerned citizen there told the officer that he saw an obviously intoxicated Impola exit his vehicle and enter the store, and that Impola nearly ran into a shelving unit and then stumbled throughout the store. The officer talked to Impola, who showed signs of intoxication, and denied having driven the car there.

He refused field sobriety testing, and refused to take a breath test at the jail “because I don’t feel I have to.” Officer Haken marked the test as a refusal at 3:09 a.m. Surveillance video from the convenience store showed Impola drive up in the vehicle, park, and go into the store.

He has eight prior DWI convictions in North Dakota and Minnesota from 1992 to 2019.

On March 29, Becker County District Judge Michael Fritz ordered a downward departure from state sentencing guidelines and sentenced Impola to 48 months in prison at St. Cloud, stayed seven years.


He was ordered to serve 180 days in jail, with credit for three days served. Sentencing to Service privileges were granted.

He was fined $1,000, plus $1,105 in court fees. He will go directly from jail to the Teen Challenge chemical dependency program in North Dakota, which he must complete. He was placed on supervised probation for five years.

Impola sought a possible DWI Court placement in Becker County, which was denied because he lives in Fargo.

The downward departure was granted in part because Impola was remorseful and had been doing well with supervised probation and Alcoholics Anonymous participation before he relapsed, and because he independently applied to and was accepted into the Teen Challenge program.

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