SANTA FE (KRQE) - "You drink, you drive, you lose."
Nearly everyone has heard the Department of Transportation's public service announcements, though a DOT supervisor apparently didn't get the message.
Police arrested Ronald Noedel, 48, for aggravated driving while intoxicated in Santa Fe on June 30. Police say he blew a 0.30, nearly four times the legal driving limit, after hitting a parked car and taking off from the scene.
Cops arrested him at his house shortly after and found an open container of alcohol in his vehicle, according to a police report.
Noedel is the general manager of the Right-of-Way/Utilities Bureau at DOT. He's worked for the department for two decades.
After being charged with the DWI, the state followed standard procedure and revoked his driver's license. At a Motor Vehicle Department hearing later, an officer upheld the revocation.
"Right now our hands are tied," said DOT spokesperson Melissa Dosher.
Noedel appealed that revocation to District Court where a judge gave him back his license until his DWI case is resolved in court. Noedel is allowed to drive in the meantime.
Since the charges are pending and Noedel has a license, Dosher said he will be allowed to stay on the job. But whether he keeps it depends on the outcome of the criminal case, she said.
"If he loses his license for more than 90 days, since driving is part of his job description, then he will lose his job," Dosher said.
If Noedel is found guilty in court, he could lose his license for up to a year.
KRQE News 13 wanted to ask him about the allegations. A woman who answered the door at his house said he wouldn't comment. We asked her if it was appropriate that he works for the DOT and has been arrested for DWI.
"How many people work for the state of New Mexico that have DWIs?" the woman said.
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