ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) — She’s been in trouble repeatedly for putting others in danger on the road and even admitted to using drugs before getting behind the wheel. But as KRQE Investigates discovered, despite these arrests and admissions, a New Mexico woman’s court cases appear to be going nowhere.

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An Albuquerque police officer’s lapel camera shows him responding to a call last year from concerned neighbors around 10:30 p.m. saying a woman was passed out at the wheel in the middle of the road. The driver’s car was still in drive, and a baby was in the back seat.

The officer approached the woman, later identified as Madalene Trujillo, and woke her up. “What are you doing? Albuquerque Police Department, ma’am. I need you to step out,” the officer said.

“Where are we?” Trujillo asked the officer. “Have a seat on the curb,” the officer replied.

Madalene Trujillo, 28, appeared disoriented. Her seven-month-old in the back seat needed attention. “It’s okay baby,” an officer is heard trying to comfort the baby boy. Another officer tells his partner, “She had this foil all over her lap and her fingers were all burnt. And it smells horrible in here.”

“You fell asleep in the middle of the road with your baby in the car,” an APD officer told Trujillo. “Because I’m tired. Like, I’ve been going through a lot with my ex and stuff,” she responded.

“What have you been using today?” The officer asked. “Nothing, I’m just tired like I said,” Trujillo replied.

“No you’re not; what have you been using today?” The officer said. “Let’s be honest,” he added, pointing out the foil all over the car. “I just wanna know if you’re gonna be honest with me or not.”

Trujillo replied, “Okay, well, I, like, did a little bit of Fentanyl, but that was, like, way earlier.”

While one officer rocked her baby to comfort him, police said Trujillo failed her field sobriety tests. According to a criminal complaint, police found blue pills, straws, and a pipe used to smoke methamphetamine. Trujillo was arrested for DWI, drug possession, impeding traffic, and child abuse.

Her baby was picked up by his father, who told police, “I’ve been actively trying to find him for two whole weeks.” The baby’s father said he was worried for his child’s safety, knowing Trujillo had a drug problem.

During Trujillo’s booking process, she struggled to keep her eyes open. She spent a couple of nights in jail and was released on her own recognizance. The following month, court documents show that case was dismissed, “pending the results of a drug test.”

Nearly killing a school crossing guard

Two months after that, Trujillo would have another run-in with police; another situation on the road that could’ve turned deadly. Lapel video shows an Albuquerque police officer responding to a vehicle accident near a school. Surveillance video showed Trujillo veering her vehicle into a crossing guard near a charter school on Yale near Gibson.

“I hit somebody!” Trujillo cried. Surveillance video shows the crossing guard holding a stop sign as his back is turned to a car speeding behind him. The car then flies into the median and barrels into him.

Police said the crossing guard survived but suffered head trauma and a broken leg. “I was, like, feeling confused and, like, I was gonna pull over and, like, it just happened,” Trujillo told the officer. “Okay, take deep breaths, just take a deep breath,” the officer said.

Trujillo told police she was going to the University of New Mexico Hospital for a medical issue. “I’ve been feeling like, little dizzy spells,” she said.

Responding officers said she failed her field sobriety test, and police suspected she was high. A blood sample was taken. In each case, Trujillo provided officers with a blood sample. However, court documents fail to show the results of the blood samples or what, if anything, they were used for in the cases.

(Video above: Surveillance video shows Madelene Trujillo crashing into a crossing guard who was standing in a median. The crossing guard survived.)

What happens to the blood samples?

KRQE News 13 asked the Bernalillo County District Attorney’s office about DUI charges for alcohol versus drugs. “Does it make it more complicated when you have to try and prosecute and get a conviction of DUI with a blood draw versus a breathalyzer?” Gabrielle Burkhart asked Deputy District Attorney Guinevere Ice.

“Yes,” Ice replied. “And that’s specific to drugs.”

Ice explained in general, drug test results can take five to six months. “Obviously, we want to use that evidence. In metro {court}, I know there are fairly short time frames once the case is filed, so it’s best practice to refile once we have the actual blood results,” she said.

In the case involving the crossing guard, Trujillo was charged with misdemeanor reckless driving. “Blood test results are pending and additional charges will be added depending on results of the blood test,” the report states.

Three months later, the case was dismissed. This time, court documents cited an officer failing to appear in court as a reason for the dismissal.

Another dismissal, another arrest

Nine days after the crossing guard case dismissal, a New Mexico State Police officer stopped a car he says was speeding and swerving through traffic on I-25. And, once again, a familiar story.

Dash camera video from September of last year shows the traffic stop. The officer describes the driver, Madalene Trujillo, as “shaky and nervous.”

“I pulled you over, you’re speeding like crazy fast up there, and you failed to maintain your lane a few times,” the State Police officer told Trujillo. Police lapel video shows her struggling through yet another field sobriety test.

Trujillo told the officer she was driving herself to a detox center. “When’s the last time you actually had anything?” The officer asked.

“I feel jittery because I’m kicking suboxone, and I’m feeling jittery,” said Trujillo. “That’s why I was trying to go to detox to kick it all the way because they have like, the right stuff to help me.”

Trujillo was charged with another DWI and again agreed to a blood draw. The officer’s criminal complaint stated her blood test “results are pending.”

In March of this year, that case was also dismissed, noting the state declined to prosecute at this time.

Admitting to a problem

In that first DWI arrest from last year, Trujillo told officers, “I’m withdrawing from Fentanyl really bad. Like, I would wanna go to rehab and get off of the DWI too,” she added.

“Yeah, DWI is the least of your worries actually,” a female officer told Trujillo. “It’s never gonna be easy. You can’t just turn off and on addiction. You gotta get better. Way better, and show for a long time.”

KRQE wanted to know if Trujillo did get help and tried to reach her. A phone number listed for Trujillo is no longer working, and she no longer lives at her listed address.

The Law Offices of the Public Defender sent KRQE News 13 the following statement regarding Trujillo’s cases:

When you hear a story like this, it’s important to remember the humanity of everyone involved and not jump to conclusions. It’s easy to focus on details from police or what went wrong with the court process. But it’s false to think that sending someone to jail or prison will necessarily get them the drug treatment they desperately need. The overreliance on jail can actually create barriers to individuals getting help. Our clients – and our community – would benefit more from resources and funding devoted to housing, treatment, and community support rather than to punishment.

Mitha Nandagopalan, attorney with LOPD

A spokesperson for the LOPD explained that it’s harder to get into a rehab facility if someone misses their appointment. Trujillo did fail to check into a rehab facility at least once as a result of an arrest.