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ND binge drinking, DUIs down; drug trafficking up

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) -- Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem says drunken driving arrests and binge drinking among teens are down in North Dakota but drug trafficking by Mexican cartels is soaring in the state's booming oil patch.

Stenehjem spoke Tuesday to the Legislature's interim Judiciary Committee about the status of substance abuse in the state.

Stenehjem says illegal drug cases are on the rise statewide but especially in western North Dakota. He says drug cases have become more complex and dangerous for law enforcement because most drug dealers are ''armed and organized.''

The binge drinking rate among North Dakota teens had been among the highest in the nation. Stenehjem says the rate is now comparable to the national average.

Stenehjem says DUI cases also have dropped since the state enacted tougher penalties last year.