ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - A U.S. Marshal was arrested for aggravated DWI and police say it's all caught on tape , including the alcohol that was in the car.
It would seem like a clear-cut case, but in New Mexico that's often not the case.
Mark West may be using a strategy that a lot of DWI suspects use.
West was arrested in March, but his trial has been continued five times. Once by the prosecution and four times by the defense.
If it doesn't go to trial soon, there's a chance the charge could be dropped altogether.
West's trial is now scheduled for late next week, but his attorney says that is likely to change.
"I'm not afraid to try this case. My client's not afraid for me to try this case. The government's not afraid to try this case. This case is going to get tried," said Ousama Rasheed, West's attorney.
Rasheed says the continuances have been necessary and not a strategy to beat the charge.
"Where you get into some of the gaming the system is you show up every time, and if the officer is there than you get rid of it. especially with this case, everybody has taken the time in almost all the continuances to ask for them in advance."
Around 30 percent of DWI cases get dismissed because of delays. The more continuances, the more likely it is the arresting officer won't show up and the case gets tossed.
"It always causes concern for me because the longer it takes to get a case to trial, the more chance to get it dismissed," said Linda Atkinson, Executive Director of DWI Resource Center. "These, what I call games, have been going on for the 20 years I've been watching the courts."
While District Attorney Kari Brandenberg says four to six continuances in DWI cases are common, she knows how those cases often end.
"This is a typical situation. But we've also found the more continuances in the case, the more likely something will happen that will result in the dismissal of the case," she said.
Brandenberg says it's ultimately up to the judge to decide whether to grant any extensions on a DWI case.
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