Colorado man with multiple DWI convictions accused of new DWI case, rear-ending vehicle
- Michael Hug, 57, Durango, Colo. is accused of driving while intoxicated and following a vehicle too closely on the afternoon of Dec. 31 at the intersection of West Broadway Avenue and South Orchard Avenue.
- He is charged with a second-degree felony count of DWI and a petty misdemeanor count of following too closely.
- Hug has seven previous DWI convictions and has been charged with DWI a total of 10 times, according to court documents.
FARMINGTON — A Colorado man with multiple DWI convictions is accused of a new DWI offense after police say he rear-ended a vehicle while driving drunk.
His attorney challenges the number of previous DWI charges the prosecution alleges his client has in court filings.
Michael Hug, 57, of Durango, Colorado, is accused of driving while intoxicated and following a vehicle too closely on the afternoon of Dec. 31, 2020 at the intersection of West Broadway Avenue and South Orchard Avenue, according to court documents.
He is charged with a second-degree felony count of DWI and a petty misdemeanor count of following too closely, according to the criminal complaint.
Jack Fortner, Hug’s attorney, said the San Juan County District Attorney’s Office has the number of DWI charges incorrect in their filings. He said Hug has two to three previous DWI charges.
Court documents filed by the prosecution contradict Fortner's claim. Hug has seven previous DWI convictions and has been charged with DWI a total of 10 times, according to those court documents.
New Year's Eve arrest
A Farmington Police Department officer was dispatched around 4 p.m. on Dec. 31 to the area of the intersection of West Broadway Avenue and South Orchard Avenue to investigate a reported vehicle crash.
A court document stated Hug, the driver of a pickup truck, appeared to be intoxicated.
The defendant told police his foot slipped off the brake and he struck the other vehicle, court documents state. The officer noted that Hug appeared to be slurring his words extremely heavily and his eyes were bloodshot and watery. The defendant told the officer he had four beers before driving.
When Hug exited his vehicle, a document states, his pants were unbuttoned and he was extremely unsteady on his feet, nearly falling several times during the officer’s contact with him. A field sobriety test was performed but the officer stopped the test for safety reasons, as Hug fell to the ground during the walk and turn test.
The documents indicate that Hug had a blood alcohol content of 0.20 and 0.19. The legal limit in New Mexico is 0.08.
He was released on Jan. 4 from the San Juan County Adult Detention Center.
The county DA’s office filed a Jan. 7 motion to keep Hug in the county jail with no bond as he awaits a jury trial.
The prosecution wrote in the motions that Hug abuses alcohol and is a danger to himself and the community.
A court hearing on the motion had not been scheduled as of Jan. 22.
Joshua Kellogg covers breaking news for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4627 or via email at email@example.com.
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