Police arrest two more on DWI charges

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Both repeat offenders

By Martin Salazar

A call to the Drunk Busters hotline helped authorities nab one repeated drunk driver on Super Bowl Sunday while an inoperable headlight led police to another repeat drunk driver the previous Friday, court documents state.

Michael Mora, 54 of Rainsville was charged with his fifth DWI, a fourth-degree felony, and with having an open container in his vehicle, a misdemeanor.

Michael Baca, 43 of the 700 block of Don Gallegos, was charged with driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, fourth offense, a felony, and with misdemeanor counts of driving with a suspended license and operating a vehicle with an inoperable headlight.

Mora was sitting in a gold Ford Ranger that was parked in the Lowe’s parking lot on Seventh Street when Las Vegas police made contact with him. Mora was in the driver seat, and the keys were in the condition, according to a probable cause statement filed last week in San Miguel County Magistrate Court.

Officers made contact with him because of a call to the state’s Drunk Busters hotline. He told an officer he was in the Lowe’s parking lot because he was going to order a burger from Lotaburger.

“As he spoke to me, I could smell an odor of an intoxicating beverage coming from his mouth,” the court document states. “He also spoke with slurred speech, and his eyes were bloodshot red.”

Police allege that Mora had open containers in the center console of his vehicle.

Mora was handcuffed and taken to the Las Vegas Police Department after performing poorly on field sobriety tests. His breath alcohol content was .20 and .21, two-and-a-half times the state’s presumed level of intoxication for drivers.

Mora told police he was drinking at the Plaza and became hungry. He said he then drove from the Plaza to  Lotaburger, a court document states.

Baca, meanwhile, was pulled over by state police at about 11 p.m. on Feb. 1. The traffic stop was initiated because the right headlight of the GMC pickup he was driving was out.

State police immediately discovered that Baca was driving on a suspended or revoked license, and arrested him. While Baca was being searched for weapons, the officer smelled alcohol on him, and he admitted to drinking a beer and a half at dinner, according to the probable cause statement.

Baca, who complained of a back injury, performed poorly on field sobriety tests and was arrested for DWI.

He was taken to Alta Vista Regional Hospital for a blood draw.

Both Baca and Mora were booked into the San Miguel County Detention Center.