Farmington man faces seventh DWI charge

Joshua Kellogg

FARMINGTON — A Farmington man is facing several charges, including his seventh driving while intoxicated charge, after allegedly attempting to evade police along U.S. Highway 64 in December.

Lennie Begay

Lennie Begay, 41, was charged on Dec. 26 in Aztec Magistrate Court with a seventh or subsequent DWI felony along with misdemeanors for driving with a revoked license and evading an officer, according to court paperwork.

His case was bound over to district court on Friday.

San Juan County Chief Deputy District Attorney Dustin O'Brien said it was Begay's seventh DWI charge and that he has six previous DWI convictions.

Peter Ramey, the court-appointed attorney for Begay, could not be reached for comment today.

Begay's most recent conviction was on May 22, 2006, when he pleaded no contest to a fourth or subsequent DWI charge and a driving with a revoked license charge, according to court records.

Begay allegedly attempted to evade a San Juan County Sheriff's Office deputy on County Road 350, just north of U.S. Highway 64, on Dec. 26, according to court paperwork.

After the deputy activated his emergency equipment on his patrol vehicle, Begay made a U-turn and started traveling southbound on County Road 350. Begay then turned west on U.S. Highway 64, according to court paperwork.

The deputy continued to follow Begay and attempted to make a second traffic stop in front of the Giant gas station at 5702 U.S Highway 64 where Begay's vehicle came to a stop.

When the deputy stepped out of this vehicle, Begay drove off and continued westbound on U.S. Highway 64, according to court paperwork. The deputy followed Begay and observed him traveling northbound on Andrea Drive.

Shortly afterward, the deputy was able to conduct a traffic stop at the intersection of Melissa and Andrea Drive, just north of the San Juan County Detention Center.

Begay told officers he did not drink that evening but he did drink that morning, according to court paperwork. His blood-alcohol content registered at 0.09 at the detention center.

Begay remained in custody today at the detention center. A pretrial conference is set for May 22 in district court, according to court records.

Joshua Kellogg covers education for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4627.