Vegas man gets 10th DWI

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By David Giuliani

A Las Vegas man was charged with his 10th DWI over the weekend, with an officer’s having to place a spike strip to stop him, state police said.

Michael Benavidez, 49, 2328 N. Gonzales St., was charged with aggravated DWI, driving on a suspended or revoked license, evading an officer and having an open container of alcohol.

According to a criminal complaint filed in Magistrate Court, state police received a report of a drunken driver in Pendaries Village shortly after 7 p.m. Saturday. Two officers went to the area, one of whom saw Benavidez’s car and put on his emergency lights.

But Benavidez didn’t stop, so the other officer placed a spike strip on N.M. Highway 94, which is near Pendaries, to get the suspect, the complaint states. The officer succeeded, and once Benavidez stopped, the officer noticed a strong odor of alcohol on the driver’s breath, police said.

Benavidez was unable to pass a number of sobriety tests, the complaint states.

Benavidez refused to take any further tests such as the blood-alcohol analysis, the complaint states. Such refusals usually mean a DWI charge is increased to aggravated.

Magistrate Judge Philip Romero set Benavidez’s cash-only bond at $10,000.

It’s rare for the authorities to stop someone with so many DWIs. In February, state police stopped Leonard R. Montoya, 44, 1003 Tilden St., for his seventh alleged DWI.