NMSP officer saves suspected drunk driver during traffic stop

Albuquerque News

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – A recent DWI stop in Albuquerque turned into a dangerous situation. A State Police officer’s training kicked in, just in time to save the life of a suspected drunk driver.

“I’ve had some people say that they wanted to hurt themselves but never had them actually take action,” said Officer Raymundo Lujan III.

On November 1, Lujan noticed a black Cadillac flying down I-25 near the Big-I. He says the driver sped up to 111 mph once he got behind the car. However, the driver did pull over when Lujan turned on his lights.

Lujan says he almost instantly got a bad feeling about the driver, 25-year-old Emmett Harrison.

Lujan: “Are we going to have issues? Yes or no?”
Harrison: “No.”

In lapel video, Harrison admitted to drinking that night.

Lujan: “What’s a little bit to you?”
Harrison: “I had uh…three shots.”

Lujan says he also performed poorly on field sobriety tests, and Harrison can be heard voicing his concern.

Harrison: “I’m freaking out right now.”

When the handcuffs went on, things started to take a turn.

“Immediately once I put a handcuff on, he kinda pulled away. After reviewing the video, it kinda looked like he was looking in the direction of I-25, but due to him facing away from me, I wasn’t able to notice that immediately,” said Lujan.

When the pat-down started, Harrison tried to make a break for it.

“He tensed up and bolted to his left, which was in the direction of Interstate 25,” said Lujan.

Lujan quickly grabbed Harrison’s jacket and pulled him back onto the hood of his patrol car. There, Harrison confessed why he was trying to get away.

Harrison: “Yeah, I want to f*** kill myself what the f***.”

“It opens your eyes a little bit…kinda brings you back into a humble position,” said Lujan.

DWI arrests are not rare for Lujan, or State Police in Albuquerque, now totaling 661 this year.

“Last year, we had 648 DWI arrests for the year, the year is not over this year and we’ve surpassed last year’s numbers,” said Capt. Isaac Valerio.

But this traffic stop will serve as an important reminder for Lujan about the dangerousness and unpredictability of every DWI stop.

“We don’t know what they’re going through, what they just went through,” said Lujan.

With the holidays still coming up, State Police expect their 661 arrests to climb significantly before the end of the year.

Harrison only has one other arrest, a DWI conviction from when he was under 21.

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