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WEEKLY DWI REPORT

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The legal limit is .08.

Janice Benally

February 2, 9:30 am

Aggravated DWI

GPD Officer Francis Collins arrived at a vehicle accident at County Road #1 and East Sanostee Drive in Gallup. The vehicle had run over the dividers in the middle of the road near the BNSF Railroad tracks. The severely damaged vehicle had two deflated tires and the coolant tank had ruptured, leaking coolant fluid onto the roadway.

Metro Dispatch alerted BNSF to slow trains  so that the vehicle could be removed safely. The officer approached Benally, 29, and noticed a strong odor of alcohol emanating from her window.

The woman had her driver’s license at the ready and was holding it out of the window as the officer approached. Benally appeared extremely sleepy. She told the officer she had been drinking, but only a couple of drinks. Benally could not answer any questions about the crash.

She failed the field sobriety tests. No breath test results are listed in the report.

Diana L Gilson

December 3, 6:01 pm

Aggravated DWI

GPD Officer Ransom James joined Officer Justin Benally at the scene of an accident at 3012 Highway 66 in Gallup. The driver of the vehicle, Diana Gilson, 42, had the odor of alcohol emanating from her person. An elderly woman was also in the vehicle.

She reportedly told the officer, “I don’t know what’s going on. Is this the hotel I’m staying at? Where is La Quinta? I don’t know what happened I blacked out.”

The officer asked her if she had drank anything, and Gilson responded that she had taken shots at a balloon rally.

The officer administered the field sobriety tests and she failed. She blew .16/.15 in custody.

Cimarron Star Howard

Dec. 1, 12:36 pm

Aggravated DWI

A reckless SUV was seen weaving in and out of lanes, southbound on U.S. 491, around noon. The driver waved a bottle of whiskey at a fellow motorist, who quickly reported him to dispatch as they passed.

Deputy Merlin Benally of McKinley County Sheriff’s Office caught up with the cheeky driver, checked the license plate, and stopped, Howard, 37, around the 7 mile marker. The officer reports that the driver’s door opened slowly after being pulled over. He yelled at the driver to stay in the car, but the driver proceeded to exit the vehicle completely, and carefully walked to the back of the vehicle, only to lean against the trunk.

The officer asked, “What are you doing man?” Howard replied, confused, according to the report, and said, “I’m sorry”. The officer asked him “Why did you get out of the car?” to which Howard then answered, “‘Cuz you were tailing me.” The officer explained to the possibly drunken man that he did not have to get out of the car. The suspect then retorted, “Yeah, but, I knew you were going to ask me to”.

Howard cooperated with the field sobriety tests, and admitted to drinking. He claimed he was trying to pick up his girlfriend and bring her home. He asked to be taken to jail because he did not want to take any more tests, reportedly. He blew a ,224 during the breath test.

Katasha M. Smith

Nov. 29, 10:15 pm

DWI

A car turned west on Highway 66, with its headlights turned off, in view of McKinley County Sheriff Office Deputy Lt. Eric. D. Jim. He followed it to Lariat Lodge at 1105 E. Hwy. 66, where the vehicle parked.

The lieutenant approached Smith, 26, at the wheel, who had a strong odor of alcohol emanating from her and red, watery eyes. She denied that she had anything to drink, but later admitted to drinking after further questioning, according to the report.

Smith failed the field sobriety tests. She blew .14/.14 during the breath tests.

William Bia III

Nov. 25, 10:55 pm

Aggravated DWI

Deputy Monty Yazzie of the McKinley County Sheriff’s Office, noticed a vehicle pull out of a business suspiciously, making a wide turn into the outer lane, against traffic. The deputy immediately followed Bia east, on N.M. 264, and pulled them over almost immediately around the 12 mile marker.

Bia, 25, was drinking earlier as he failed all of the field sobriety tests. At first, he tried to avoid admitting it, blaming the smell of alcohol emanating from the vehicle on his passenger, but later, after failing the sobriety tests, admitted to drinking.

He was transported to the Sheriff’s office where he was read the New Mexico Implied consent act nearly 2 hours later. Bia told the deputy “I don’t agree”, reportedly, and was booked for aggravated DWI.

Angeline Tolth

Nov. 24, 4:04 pm

Aggravated DWI

Gallup Police Department Officer Douglas Hoffman responded to a call in reference to a suspected drunk driver in an area behind Albertson’s, 1702 E 66th Ave. The witness who made the call heroically volunteered their time to help tail the driver to make sure the officer was able to find her.

Hoffman followed their instructions and was able to catch up to the suspect’s vehicle while it was on Redrock Drive. He observed it for a short time to determine if she was driving aberrantly.

The vehicle hit the curb and began driving up along the sidewalk, according to the report. The officer immediately turned on his lights and siren as the vehicle continued to drive, turning right onto Nizhoni. The disorderly vehicle bounced up onto the curb again recklessly, before almost hitting a street sign. Finally the driver, Tolth, either noticed or decided to obey the sirens and lights of Officer Hoffman, and brought the vehicle to a rest at the stop light at Nizhoni Street and College Drive.

The officer approached Tolth, 53, asking her to step out over the curb she had ran over. The driver was silent and would not face the officer. Hoffman still noticed the smell of alcohol on her, despite her avoidance, according to the report.

Tolth said she had one can of beer, and did not have a driver’s license. The empty can was sitting behind her seat. She refused field sobriety testing and was placed under arrest. She did cooperate with a breath test and produced a driver’s license, which was suspended. She was also cited for departing from her lane onto the curb and a suspended driver’s license. Tolth blew a .20/0.18.

Todd O. Peterson

Nov. 24, 1:50 am

Aggravated DWI

A vehicle traveling north in the southbound lane dangerously, passed a vehicle before merging into the northbound lane once again on N.M. 602. Gallup Police Department Officer Joe Roanhorse stopped the vehicle and noted that Todd Peterson, 27, smelled like alcohol and had bloodshot red, watery eyes. Peterson admitted to the officer he had drank four beers. He swayed from side to side and could not stand up straight without holding onto the vehicle during the field sobriety tests, which he failed.

A passenger in the vehicle was taken to Gallup Detox. The vehicle was left on the side of the roadway in a secure location. Peterson was taken into custody and when the test was administered Peterson did not not provide a valid breath test sample. He was charged with an aggravated DWI due to being unable to provide a sample for the machine. He was cited for lack of driver’s license, unlawful use of license, and driving on a divided street.