ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – An Albuquerque man whose history of drunk driving dates back to the eighties was busted again, this time, while passed out behind the wheel. New police video shows his efforts to convince police he did nothing wrong, and how his actions proved otherwise.
“How did your vehicle end up colliding with this concrete barrier?” an Albuquerque Police officer is heard asking the driver, Stephen Casias.
A security guard in the area had called police after reportedly finding Casias passed out behind the wheel of a red SUV that hit a concrete barrier near Central and Juan Tabo.
“They saw you in the vehicle passed out. And your car was in drive and it looks like it’s still in drive,” the officer said.
But, Casias denied ever being in the driver’s seat. “I did not do that,” he said.
“I don’t know if you even saw the damage to your SUV,” the officer responded.
Casias stumbled while looking at the front of the SUV, then told officers he didn’t want to take the field sobriety test.
“You don’t want to do the sobriety tests because you will fail?” the officer asked.
“Yes, sir,” Casias replied.
Then finally, Casias admitted he was under the influence. “I just want to let you know that it’s illegal drugs,” he stated.
Then, the officer asked Casias how much he had to drink, before finally putting him in cuffs. “I’m just asking how much?” the officer asked.
“Too much,” Casias said.
Linda Atkinson with the DWI Resource Center said getting repeat offenders off the road is a matter of improving criminal justice reform, like offering treatment.
“We waste so many resources having law enforcement out there making the arrests, trying to prevent the crashes, and yet we have high repeat offenders still out on the road,” Atkinson said.
At the Prisoner Transport Center, the lapel video shows Casias falling over while trying to sit down, so the officer called an ambulance.
Casias will be arraigned on May 24 on the drunk driving charge. If convicted, a seventh DWI requires at least two years of prison time. That penalty jumps to a mandatory 10 years for an eighth DWI.