FARMINGTON, N.M. (KRQE) – Police say an elderly New Mexico man with prior DWIs and a suspended license was driving on the wrong side of the road with an open bottle of booze. His latest arrest for DWI means he could spend the rest of his life in prison.
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Farmington Police pulled over a wrong-way driver last month. Just a couple of minutes before that, the officer was waiting on the side of the road with a speed gun after getting reports of a driver in a Toyota Corolla doing 100 mph coming his way. The driver was under the speed limit, but now he was driving the wrong way. He’d stay in the wrong lanes for another minute or so despite the lights and siren right behind him.
The driver finally stopped outside the Speedway on the edge of town. At first, the officer thought the driver was having a medical episode, but he quickly realized what was really going on.
According to court documents and his two listed birthdays, George Platero is either 80 or 81. The officer asked to see Platero’s water bottle which was filled with vodka. Platero would later admit it was a mix of Smirnoff minis.
Platero couldn’t walk or blow into a breathalyzer. They had EMTs check him out. Platero said he’d made about a 10-mile trip from Shiprock.
If he’s convicted for this eighth DWI, the 80-year-old faces a mandatory 10-12 years in prison. No word on whose car he was driving or why he didn’t have an interlock.