VIDEO: Chaves County sheriff’s lieutenant arrested under DUI charges

Crime

NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – Former Sheriff’s lieutenant Joel Ramirez was arrested last week on charges of DUI and reckless driving and the lapel video shows what officers encountered on August 1, 2021. At around 1:40 AM two 911 calls were made that someone was driving on the wrong side of US 285 from Artesia to Roswell.


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When officers showed near Objawa Rd near Dexter, N.M. they discovered Ramirez was behind the wheel. The responding officer made a call to Chaves County Sheriff’s Office and told them it was one of their own who was behind the wheels.

Deputies showed up soon after and began to speak with Ramirez.  The complaint said he could not keep his balance, understand or follow instructions. The Chaves County Sheriff’s Department called in Roswell police to take over the investigation.

When officers began to search his car, they found a nearly empty bottle of whiskey. The complaint states Ramirez refused to take a breath test and was taken into custody by Roswell police.

Ramirez’s arrest comes at a time when the Chaves County Sheriff is cracking down on drunk drivers. The sheriff’s office did not have much to say on the incident but that they “are very disappointed”.

On Monday, Ramirez resigned from the Chaves County Sheriff’s Department before his arraignment. He was on the force for 19 years. Ramirez was released on his own recognizance and the case is being taken over by the Curry County district attorney’s office to avoid a conflict of interest.

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