DWI arrests made during holiday weekend

Noel Lyn Smith, nsmith@daily-times.com

FARMINGTON — The New Year's weekend saw eight DWI arrests by deputies from the San Juan County Sheriff's Office.

Deputies from the San Juan County Sheriff’s Office conduct a DWI checkpoint on County Road 6100 on New Year's Eve.

Deputies also responded to calls that ranged from fireworks complaints to reports of gunshots during the three-day weekend.

Sgt. Devon Dollar, traffic safety coordinator with the Sheriff's Office, said the eight arrests were made as part of the Winter Superblitz the agency has been participating in since Dec. 1. The "superblitz" is a campaign designed to deter and prevent DWIs through public service announcements and periods when police agencies have extra officers on patrol, Dollar said.

Deputies also conducted a DWI checkpoint on County Road 6100 on New Year's Eve as part of the campaign, Dollar added.

Although no DWI arrests were made at the checkpoint, one person was arrested for an outstanding warrant, and 17 citations were issued for various traffic violations, he said.

The agency is aware someone posted information about the location of the checkpoint on social media, Dollar added.

"That may have helped or hurt our efforts to find and arrest intoxicated drivers, depending on how you look at it," he said.

The online post could have caused intoxicated drivers to use alternative routes to avoid the checkpoint or it could have kept intoxicated drivers at home, Dollar added.

He said as part of a separate campaign to end DWI, the agency conducted six extra patrols and one checkpoint in December, and that resulted in two DWI arrests, three non-DWI arrests and 48 citations for traffic violations.

The Aztec and Bloomfield police departments also responded to various complaints during the holiday weekend.

Capt. Troy Morris of the Aztec Police Department said there was one DWI arrest at 1:30 a.m. Sunday, and a number of fireworks complaints were reported.

In preparation for the holiday, officers' work shifts were adjusted to have more personnel on patrol, and others officers were on standby in case a major incident occurred, he added.

"For New Year's Eve, it was slow," Morris said today.

Sgt. Josh Calder of the Bloomfield Police Department said preliminary numbers showed one DWI arrest during the early hours on Sunday.

Officers arrested four individuals for misdemeanors and responded to 15 calls for service, in addition to traffic stops from Saturday to Monday, he added.

"We did have at least one call for a fireworks complaint," Calder said.

The Farmington Police Department could not provide details about the number of calls received during the holiday weekend because the records division was closed today.

Noel Lyn Smith covers the Navajo Nation for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4636.