GALLUP, N.M. (KRQE) – Jeff Irving, the man accused of driving drunk through a Gallup parade will remain behind bars until trial. Investigators say his blood alcohol was three times the legal limit when he was caught on camera barreling through the Inter-Tribal Ceremonial Parade.
Investigators say he then crashed into several vehicles. More than a dozen people, including two police officers, were hurt and investigators say more are coming forward. Friday in court, prosecutors asked a judge to hold Irving behind bars until trial. They say not only is dangerous, but a criminal history shows he does not know how to follow the rules.
The state’s attorney argued Friday that Irving’s history of DWI charges, traffic violations, and failures to appear in court made him a danger to the community. However, his sister disagrees with that in court: “He’s not a dangerous man. He just lost it I guess…I know that I can help him, by coming to court because I wasn’t living with him, with my brother, at the time.”
That state disagreed, asking the judge how she could reasonably control her older brother. “I asked a simple question: ‘ma’am, how could you assure that he’s gonna follow the conditions of release set by this court and not pose a danger to the community?’ She couldn’t answer that,” says Mandana Shoushtari, attorney for the State of New Mexico.
The state argues that given an extensive criminal history, including at least five counts of failing to appear in court and a pending DWI in Crown Point from 2020, he shouldn’t be let out.
However, the defense argues that the court take that criminal history with a grain of salt, saying many of the charges the state brought up had been dismissed without convictions. “These are not certified copies of any judgements or sentences. I ask that the court take this evidence with a grain of salt that it was presented,” Barry Klopfer, Irving’s defense attorney.
“There’s at least four material misrepresentations in the state’s motion and they all concern the false allegation that my client was convicted of driving without a, suspended revoked license on four different occasions. I’ve attached the odyssey print-outs of those allegations confirming that each and every time the matters were dismissed. There was never a conviction,” Klopfer says.
In the end, Judge Louis DePauli sided with the state calling Irving dangerous, and saying that no conditions of release would mitigate that danger.
“I really have no faith that you, Mr. Irving, will do what a court orders you to do. The only way to mitigate your dangerousness is to tell you not to drink. To tell you not to drive. Courts have done that repeatedly and those dictates have fallen of deaf ears. And so history indicates it will continue to fall on deaf ears,” Judge DePauli says.
The District Attorney’s Office in Gallup says more charges could be added in this. The night of the crash more than a dozen people were believed to be injured, but he says more people are coming forward.
“I’m very sorry to all the people that got hurt. It is heartbreaking, it’s embarrassing. But again, I grew up with this man. He’s my brother. And we have been thru a lot,” Irving’s sister says.
The judge ordered Irving to be held without bond.