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Kirtland man accused of 14th DWI charge, driving on wrong side of road

Chee got first DWI conviction in 1992

Joshua Kellogg
Farmington Daily Times
  • Anthony Chee, 46, is accused of a third-degree felony count of aggravated DWI, a misdemeanor count of driving while license revoked and petty misdemeanor counts of failure to maintain traffic lane, improper turning at intersection and no seat belts, according to the criminal complaint.
  • A Farmington Police Department officer around 1 a.m. on Aug. 1, found a blue pickup truck stopped in the intersection of Airport Drive and West Apache Street, passed the crosswalk.
  • Chee was released from the San Juan County Adult Detention Center on Aug. 3. He was required to obtain an alcohol monitor to be released from the jail.

FARMINGTON — A Kirtland man is accused of his 14th DWI after being pulled over with a 30-pack of beer in the vehicle after struggling to stay in his lane of traffic and driving in the wrong lane of traffic.

Anthony Chee, 46, is accused of a third-degree felony count of aggravated DWI, a misdemeanor count of driving while license revoked and petty misdemeanor counts of failure to maintain traffic lane, improper turning at intersection and no seat belts, according to the criminal complaint.

Ruth Wheeler, Chee's attorney, didn't respond to a request for comment.

Traffic enforcement effort

The Farmington Police Department noted Chee's arrest in a Aug. 5 press about a three-day period when they increased traffic enforcement. 

Farmington Police Chief Steve Hebbe said in a July 30 Facebook video that the department has received an increase in complaints for traffic, speeding and reckless driving.

He added while officers have "laid low" due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there would be a three-day operation to increase traffic enforcement.

More than 140 traffic citations and seven DWI arrests were made from July 31 to Aug. 2.

There were 107 traffic citations and five DWI arrests were made during the first weekend of August in 2019, according to Farmington police Spokesperson Nicole Brown.

DWI arrest after failed sobriety test

A Farmington Police Department officer around 1 a.m. on Aug. 1, found a blue pickup truck stopped in the intersection of Airport Drive and West Apache Street, past the crosswalk.

The officer saw the truck wait several seconds after the light turned green to start driving. It then made a turn to drive westbound on Apache Street and went into the wrong lane of traffic, then corrected itself, and later was seen driving in the bike lane.

The officer conducted a traffic stop on Chee.

Anthony Chee

It was noted in the probable cause statement that the officer saw several crushed cans of Budweiser beer in the bed of the truck and a 30 pack of the beer in the rear seat. Chee's eyes appeared to be bloodshot, he appeared to be agitated and had slurred speech.

The officer said he could smell the strong odor of an alcoholic beverage coming from the vehicle.

A sobriety test was conducted and Chee was arrested. No blood alcohol content is listed in the probable cause statement. A blood test warrant was approved and executed.

Court documents show Chee was sentenced on July 28, 2014, for his 13th DWI conviction. He was given a three year and 364-day sentence to the New Mexico Department of Corrections with two years of parole. He got his first DWI conviction in March 1992.

Chee was released from the San Juan County Adult Detention Center on Aug. 3. He was required to obtain an alcohol monitor to be released from the jail.

His preliminary hearing is set for the morning of Aug. 12 in Farmington Magistrate Court.

Joshua Kellogg covers breaking news for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4627 or via email at jkellogg@daily-times.com.

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