At about 6:30 p.m. on June 2, police were sent to conduct a welfare check in a remote desert area that is east of Interstate 25. When the authorities arrived, they found an El Paso woman and her two young children in a Chevy Trailblazer that was described as inoperable. The woman claimed that she was on her way to Santa Fe and had decided to take a shortcut through the desert.
The officers believed that the driver was under the influence of alcohol and conducted field sobriety tests. She reportedly did poorly on the tests and was taken into custody. Afterward, the woman was taken to Doña Ana County Detention Center and charged with an aggravated count of DWI and two counts of child abuse. The children were treated for dehydration and were given to a relative.
An aggravated drunk driving charge is generally considered to be a significant offense. Possible penalties for a conviction can include significant jail or prison time. Parents who are found to be under the influence of alcohol while their children are in the car with them may lose custody. Therefore, it may be advisable to contact an attorney to create a defense against the charge.
An example of a possible defense may be to cast doubt on the accuracy of a field sobriety test. It may also be possible to question the officer's judgement when a driver was taken into custody. In some cases, glassy eyes or slurred speech may be a sign of a medical condition not related to alcohol impairment. If successful, a defendant may have the charge reduced or dismissed entirely.