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Arcata mayor arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence

A Northern California mayor was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence and possession of a controlled substance, jail booking records show.

Arcata Mayor Brett Watson was arrested late Sunday night by the California Highway Patrol. He was booked at Humboldt County Jail on suspicion of driving under the influence, possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia. It was not disclosed what kind of controlled substance he allegedly possessed, though a CHP press release claims he was in possession of a "small amount of illegal narcotics."

The release says officers "were conducting traffic control in the area of US-101 northbound and Sunset Avenue when they observed a silver Lexus sedan cross over a flare pattern set up for the regulation of traffic." CHP stopped the vehicle and questioned the driver, who showed "objective signs and symptoms of impairment, as well as the observed unsafe driving behavior," the release said.

During a search after his arrest, Watson was found to possess the narcotics, the CHP press release claimed.

Watson was released a few hours after arrest, records show.

Arcata City Manager Karen Diemer acknowledged Watson's arrest to the Times Standard, calling it a "matter of public concern," and noting that it is "extremely personal for the mayor."

"I trust that the mayor will be addressing constituent concerns shortly," she added.

As the East Bay Times reports, Watson recently voted against the Arcata City Council taking steps to decriminalize some psychedelic plants. He asked a city committee to offer further guidance.

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