State Rep. Youngblood found guilty in DWI trial

Crime

A state representative with a ‘tough on crime’ stance was found guilty of aggravated DWI. This, after Monica Youngblood refused to take a breath test at a DWI checkpoint in May. 

Ever since she was stopped at a DWI checkpoint back in May, Monica Youngblood denied that she was driving drunk. 

However, after the verdict Tuesday, she accepted the judge’s decision and said she regrets what happened. 

During opening statements for her DWI trial Tuesday, the defense argued Albuquerque Police had no probable cause to arrest Youngblood at an APD DWI checkpoint in May. 

“She was not driving while impaired. There is no evidence she was driving while impaired and she was not intoxicated,” defense attorney Paul Kennedy said.

She failed her field sobriety test, and it was after she refused the breathalyzer that she was booked for aggravated DWI. 

The arresting officer says that’s protocol based on New Mexico’s ‘implied consent’ law. It states every driver on the road is agreeing to take a breath or blood test, “if the officer as reasonable grounds to believe the driver is under the influence of drugs or alcohol,” which Officer Joshua Montano says was the case from what he observed that night. 

“Her eyes looked pretty bloodshot to me, her speech was slurred,” Officer Montano said. 

The defense further argued the results of her field sobriety test alone weren’t enough to convict her, and that the wind affected her. In fact, they argue she did exceptionally well considering what she was wearing. 

“I don’t think you could find anyone in this courtroom [who] could do a leg raise in those boots or that walk and turn in those boots any better than Ms. Youngblood did that night,” Kennedy argued. 

Judge Kevin Fitzwater didn’t buy it. 

“The field sobriety test, her demeanor overall, refusal for breath test, officer’s testimony that he smelled the odor of alcohol, all tells the court she was impaired to slightest degree,” Judge Fitzwater said.

The refusal of the breathalyzer makes it an aggravated DWI. 

Youngblood was released on her own recognizance. Her sentencing is set for Wednesday, Oct. 3 at 10 a.m. 

It’s her first offense, so she faces up to 90 days in jail. 

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