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Man arrested in NM for 22nd drunk driving offense

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[August 26, 2009]  ESPANOLA, N.M. (AP) -- Police said a man was arrested on Monday for his 22nd drunken driving offense -- and his blood-alcohol content tested almost five times higher than New Mexico's legal limit.

State Police Lt. Eric Garcia said an officer pulled up to a car parked along a highway and found a 51-year-old man on the ground near his vehicle.

"He was coherent," Garcia said. "He showed signs of slurred speech, as might be normal for any DWI arrest, which led the officer to believe he might be driving under the influence."

Garcia said the suspect had to be taken by ambulance to Christus St. Vincent hospital in Santa Fe, where a blood-alcohol analysis showed a content level of .393 percent. New Mexico's limit for presumed intoxication is .08 percent.

Police said records showed the man has been arrested five times in New Mexico and at least 16 times elsewhere.

The suspect, who faces a felony DWI charge, was booked into the Santa Fe County jail.

Garcia said records showed the man faces pending DWI charges in Angel Fire and Espanola. He also was served with arrest warrants from San Miguel, Bernalillo and Sandoval Counties -- all on DWI-related charges.

Garcia didn't know if the man had any prior DWI convictions.

[Associated Press]

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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