Man gets seventh DWI, police say

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By The Staff

A Las Vegas man was arrested earlier this week for his seventh DWI offense, state police said.

Dennis Barela, 48, 116 Independence, was also charged with driving on a suspended or revoked license and weaving between lanes.

According to a state police report, an officer stopped Barela shortly after midnight Tuesday on N.M. Highway 518 north of Las Vegas. The officer stated in his report that he saw Barela drive over the double-painted center divider line.

When the officer asked Barela for his driver’s license, the suspect said he didn’t have one because of a previous DWI, the report states. He admitted to the officer that he had drunk two beers before driving, documents state.

The officer administered a breath test, which produced results showing that Barela had a blood-alcohol content of .16 and .18, more than double the legal limit.

The state police arrested another Las Vegan, Aaron C. Martinez, 23, 25 Martinez Road, on a DWI charge in recent days.

According to a state police report, an officer responded to a fight shortly before 3 p.m. Sunday outside the convenience store in Sapello. When the officer arrived, he saw a green Honda speeding away. The officer stopped the car and found all three occupants intoxicated, including a 17-year-old girl, the report states.

Carlos T. Gallegos, 23, 1814 Eighth St., admitted to buying the alcohol, so he was charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor, according to the report. He said he knew the girl was underage, police said.

Martinez, the driver, told the officer he was drunk, but he refused to submit to any sobriety tests, the report states. Under New Mexico law, such refusals mean an increase in a DWI charge to aggravated.

While the officer was dealing with Martinez, he noticed that the girl got behind the wheel, turned on the car and appeared as if she were going to leave, the report states.

In New Mexico, people can be arrested just for getting behind the wheel while intoxicated.

The officer proceeded to administer field sobriety tests on the girl, but she refused to submit. So she, too, was arrested, police said.