SANTA ROSA — In late July, a reporter witnessed Guadalupe County Sheriff Robert Chavez going 85 mph from Mora to Las Vegas. The speed limit was 60 mph.
Apparently, he’s not a strict follower of the laws when it comes to driving.
Last week, Chavez was charged with aggravated driving while intoxicated after being arrested Dec. 12 by state police.
Authorities were alerted about a possible drunken driver in the Santa Rosa area. The state Department of Public Safety says an officer who spotted the reported pickup truck about 2 a.m. pulled it over after observing traffic violations.
He arrested Chavez on charges of aggravated driving while intoxicated, having open containers, failing to wear a seatbelt and failing to stop at a stop sign.
Chavez was booked into the DeBaca County jail.
On July 26, Chavez was driving a pickup truck with a six-inch-wide decal indicating it was from the Guadalupe County Sheriff’s Department. An Optic reporter covering the Mora fiesta followed the truck from that town to Wal-Mart in Las Vegas.
Chavez, who was with another deputy, would go at least 85 mph when no cars were in the way, with no emergency lights or sirens. When Chavez encountered slower-moving cars, he would pass and then resume his speeding. Just north of Las Vegas, where the speed limit drops to 50 mph, Chavez decreased his speed to 70 mph.
Then he turned right at Wal-Mart and parked way up in front — in an area not allowed for parking, with painted stripes as an indication.
The reporter asked who the driver was, and he identified himself as Robert Chavez.