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Area man accused of driving drunk

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By The Staff

A 67-year-old Serafina man was arrested and jailed last week for allegedly driving drunk and leaving the scene of an accident.

Las Vegas police say Eligio B. Baca Jr. also drove into oncoming traffic and ran into a block wall just north of the intersection of Hot Springs and Porter Avenue as an officer was trying to catch up to him.

Baca has been charged with misdemeanor counts of driving while under the influence, leaving the scene of an accident and failure to report an accident. He was booked into the San Miguel County Detention Center.

According to the probable cause statement filed in San Miguel County Magistrate Court on Tuesday:

A city police officer was dispatched to the Plaza Park area just after 7 p.m. on Monday in reference to a possible drunk driver in a grey GMC pick-up truck.

The officer caught up to the truck as it was turning west on Mills Avenue. The vehicle turned north on Hot Springs Boulevard.

“I observed the grey GMC truck drive into oncoming traffic and run into a block wall just north of the intersection of Hot Springs and Porter Avenue,” the officer states.

The officer made contact with Baca and immediately smelled alcohol on his breath. The officer also noticed that Baca had bloodshot, watery eyes, slurred speech and had a hard time maintaining his balance.

Police say he admitted to drinking two or three beers earlier in the day and that he declined to do field sobriety tests, telling the officer, “I can’t. I’m an old man.”

While the officer was taking Baca to the hospital for a blood draw, he was informed that Baca had hit a parked car at Plaza Park.

In an unrelated DWI case, a San Miguel County Sheriff’s Deputy arrested Valerie A. Willis, 51, of Clovis on Aug. 8 after she got the truck she was driving stuck on NM 104, the highway leading to Tucumcari.

A probable cause statement filed in San Miguel County Magistrate Court last Monday states that the deputy noticed a white Chevy Silverado on the shoulder of the highway. Willis stepped out of the vehicle and asked the deputy for help because her truck was stuck in mud.

The deputy smelled alcohol in the vehicle and asked Willis if she had been drinking.

According to the court document, she told the deputy she had quit drinking at around 3 or 4 a.m.

Willis failed field sobriety tests and later blew a .20 and a .19, more than twice the state’s presumed level of intoxication. When the deputy ran the vehicles plates, the truck came back as a stolen vehicle.

Willis has been charged with aggravated driving under the influence, second offense and receiving or transferring a stolen motor vehicle.