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I was a DWI investigator for three years, a certified “expert,” and the go-to guy for DWI investigations for most of the squads I was assigned. Unlike Doug Watt, I arrested a lot of “DWI virgins,” although “studies have shown” that the average offender drives drunk ten times before they actually get caught.
Unlike some states, New Mexico allowed DWI roadblocks. On one of these, a drunk pulled up in an RV. He was arrested and we turned the vehicle over to his sober passenger. Who drove the RV to the jail and bonded the guy out. Then gave the keys back to him. He immediately drove back to the same roadblock and was arrested again. This time we arrested the passenger, too, for aiding and abetting, and towed the vehicle.
Police cars are magnets for drunk drivers. I had my squad hit or almost hit so many times I lost count. Once I was pulling out of a parking lot and had stopped for traffic on the street. The driver behind me didn’t stop. (He was not only drunk but had a library book in the car that was six months overdue; miscreants are seldom one-dimensional.)
Another time, I had my car across a lane of the freeway to protect a crash scene. A drunk tried to drive between my car and the median barrier, without success. I even got hit when I wasn’t on a street or parking lot. When I was doing traffic control for a large event, I would pull up next to the traffic light box so I could change the signals while inside my car. A drunk drove over the curb and rear-ended my car.
I got called to assist a motorcycle officer with a possible DWI. After I arrested the guy, I looked up his record; even though he was from another state, he had a conviction in New Mexico several years previously. The motor cop joked that it was probably me. I didn’t remember the guy, but I pulled the other report and it was. Apparently the guy only came to New Mexico to drink and drive.
Toward the end of my career, I arrested a DWI offender with multiple previous convictions in New Mexico. I pulled his record and found he had 19 previous arrests in six different states. The first arrest had been by an Officer Pluma in the early ’80s. When you’re a cop, you realize there are nothing but coincidences.Published in