Do not speed in Watford City, North Dakota. The police here are very aggressive in stopping speeders in Watford City, they don’t give any leeway or benefit of the doubt, and there are many roads where the speed limit is not clearly posted. Every day that I drive into Watford City, I see that the police have someone pulled over and are writing them a ticket.
Part of what the police are doing, is trying to pay for themselves, they are trying to bring in enough revenue so that they can all keep their jobs. That is why they are so aggressive, and there is no slack given, they have to bring in enough money to pay for themselves. All over North Dakota now, there are local and state budget shortfalls.
The other thing that the police are doing, they are trying to check you out, in ways that you didn’t realize. You probably already know that they are going to check your vehicle license plate number to see if it belongs to the vehicle, or if the vehicle is stolen. They are going to check your driver’s license to see if you have any outstanding warrants, but they can also see what prior arrests you may have. Then the police are going to ask you for your current local address, that, they didn’t have. They want to know where all of these out of state workers are living locally, in case you steal something, or get into a bar fight.
In addition to observing for the smell of alcohol, slurred speech, open containers of alcohol, they are also looking for illegal drugs, drug paraphernalia, weapons, stolen property, anything that could lead to an arrest. If the police request permission to search your vehicle, you are better off saying “No”, even if you are sure that you have nothing illegal. I will tell you why.
I bought a truck from a friend of mine, because he bought a diesel truck and needed to get rid of this one. When I bought this truck, it was all clean inside, but I still found some receipts and an old registration behind the back seat. Also, there was a red pill on the floor in a crevice that was hard to reach. That red pill stayed there for about two years, until I went to work in an oil field in Texas, and saw that the police were stopping people for speeding, then taking everything out of their vehicle to search it. I could not have explained what that pill was, I don’t know if it was a hydrocodone. If it was hydrocodone, which I do not have a prescription for, in Texas, I probably would have been found guilty of possession of narcotics, and been sentenced to several years in prison. In Texas, yes, several years.
In Texas, my Idaho concealed weapons permit was valid, I checked before I left. In Idaho, a concealed weapons permit covers both firearms and knives. In Texas, I later found out, it only covers firearms. In Texas, if anyone has a knife with a blade longer than seven inches “on or about their person”, they are “guilty of possession of an illegal knife”, and in your vehicle had already been decided in court to be “on or about your person”. I would not have gotten arrested for the loaded handgun in my vehicle, but I would have gotten arrested for the fixed blade hunting knife that I bought at WalMart. I didn’t know.
Update & Current Information: In September of 2016, Highway 23 Business on the east side of Watford City was mostly completed, with permanent clear speed limit signs installed. The police enforcement of the speed limit on the east end of Highway 23 Business is now fair, and it is a good road.
There are still many poor white out of state workers in Watford City. The only way that Watford City is livable, with a low assault rate, low amount of theft and burglary, low meth addiction and meth trafficking, is through constant aggressive law enforcement by the Watford Police and McKenzie Sheriff. I don’t like being followed by the Watford Police every time I go some place, and them wanting to pull me over for something, but it kind of has to be this way as long as there are so many White Trash in western North Dakota.