ALAMOGORDO, N.M. (KRQE) - It's a disturbing arrest—a 12-year-old girl popped for DWI and leading police on a chase with her friends in the car in Alamogordo. Lapel video obtained by KRQE News 13 shows the end of the situation that could’ve ended very badly.
"For young folks to get ahold of A) alcohol, and then B) a vehicle, and then adding them both together, normally this situation is very...often it doesn't work out as well as it did in this case,” said Police Chief Brian Peete.
"Put your hands up now! Put 'em up!” an officer said as he approached the car. "Get on the ground, now!"
Alamogordo police say they were on an unrelated call earlier this month when a suspicious car caught their attention. They say before they even tried to pull it over on West US Highway 70, the driver took off at a high rate of speed.
Officers chased the car to South US Highway 54 where the driver lost control on a turn, plowing into a street sign and shattering the front windshield before nearly hitting two police cars. Little did they know, behind the wheel was a 12-year-old girl.
She was with three of her friends, ages 12 and 13. KRQE News 13 is told all four smelled like alcohol. "It's scary. It's concerning. There's a lot of mixed emotions with it because we don't know the situation, the dynamics at home,” said Chief Peete.
Police say the Tularosa girl admitted to waiting until her grandfather fell asleep to take his car before picking up her friends to go drinking. In the car, officers found Twisted-brand hard iced teas and a Smirnoff product.
"We're trying to figure out where they got it from,” an officer said to the girl’s father.
"That's what I want to know, because we don't drink at my house,” he replied. He goes on to tell them, "If you've got to keep her in jail tonight, if you think it's right, do it.”
The girl was charged with DWI and for leading police on that chase. All four were charged for underage drinking.
"Grateful no one was hurt, no one was injured...But how do we move forward in trying to get these things from happening again, how can we become more involved?” said Chief Peete.
It's unclear what the kids' blood alcohol content was or where they got the alcohol from. Alamogordo police are working with CYFD and the district attorney's office to investigate further.