Waterflow man charged with seventh DWI

Noel Lyn Smith
Clifford Jim

FARMINGTON — A Waterflow man has been charged this month with his seventh drunken driving offense after a traffic stop on U.S. Highway 64.

Clifford Jim, 46, faces additional charges of driving with a suspended license, a misdemeanor, and failure to maintain a traffic lane, a petty misdemeanor.

His case was bound over to district court from Aztec Magistrate Court on March 23. An arraignment is scheduled for April 17.

Public defender Sarah Field, Jim's attorney, did not respond to a phone messages seeking comment.

A San Juan County Sheriff's Office deputy was on patrol March 10 when he noticed a vehicle drift from the center line to the outer white line near mile marker 35 on U.S. Highway 64, according to court documents.

The documents state the vehicle then pulled over on the side of the highway near County Road 6825 and the deputy initiated a traffic stop.

As the deputy approached the vehicle, he noticed the male driver, later identified as Jim, looking down at a phone with the vehicle keys on his lap, the documents state.

The deputy noted in the statement of probable cause that Jim had difficulty reaching toward the vehicle door, there was the odor of alcohol from the vehicle and Jim smelled like alcohol.

Jim told the deputy he was driving to his house in Waterflow, according to court documents.

The deputy told Jim that he wanted to perform a few tests, to determine if Jim was driving under the influence, the documents state.

Jim initially declined then agreed after the deputy explained he wanted to give Jim the benefit of the doubt, according to court documents.

The documents state that after completing part of the test, Jim refused to finish.

He was transported to the Sheriff's Office substation in Kirtland, breath tests were performed and registered between 0.11 and 0.14 blood-alcohol content, according to court documents.

Jim was transported to the San Juan County Adult Detention Center without incident on March 11.

He remained in custody on Wednesday at the detention center on a $50,000 cash-only bond.

In October 2011, Jim pleaded guilty to a sixth DWI charge and to driving with a suspended or revoked license, according to court records.

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