Deputies investigated for helping alleged drunk driver

SANTE FE (KRQE) — A woman accused of driving drunk may have stayed out of trouble because of who she knows.

Three Santa Fe County sheriff’s deputies are now under investigation for allegedly cutting the woman a break that was caught on video.

It’s a two and a half minute clip that has Santa Fe County Sheriff Robert Garcia upset.

“What I saw on the video again and I’ll say it straight forward, very concerning to me,” said Sheriff Garcia.

The video shows a Santa Fe County sheriff’s deputy hop into the alleged drunk driver’s car and back it out of a driveway all while two other deputies stand by and watch. The woman is thought to be related to another deputy at the department.

“I think that this whole incident should have been handled differently,” said Sheriff Garcia.

The Sheriff says he’s now conducting an internal investigation to see if deputies ignored allegations she was drunk and moved her car as a courtesy.

At one point in the video, the deputy who hopped in the driver’s seat and sounds as if he’s speaking to someone he knows.

“Oh my god, get in the car now!” said the deputy.

The woman in the video is said to have a brother in the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office.

The man who recorded the video in late April says he called deputies to his home south of Espanola after she allegedly drove drunk to his home then tried to break-in after a fight.

The man says he started recording the video when he saw deputies going to move the woman’s car.

“How many times have a Sheriff drove in somebody’s vehicle, off ******* a DUI? Really?” asks the man in the video. “You know, I know you guys take care of each other, it’s cool”.”

The man recording says the deputy drove off his property to a parking lot hundreds of yards away. Sheriff Garcia says that’s not part of the policy.

“Never. Never, it should never of happened. The vehicle should never have been moved by one of our uniformed deputies or any deputy,” said Sheriff Garcia.

The Sheriff says the woman may not have been checked for any signs of intoxication either.

“If she had been drinking as alleged, this should have been looked at like any other case,” said Sheriff Garcia.

He says its behavior he won’t tolerate.

“I personally take this thing seriously and I do have concerns and I will be addressing those concerns,” said Sheriff Garcia.

It’s unclear how the woman got home but she allegedly was released without being charged.

The Sheriff says the investigation should wrap up this week. By then, he says he should know if the woman is actually related to a deputy. He’s says they’re still trying to figure out if deputies had any legitimate reason to move the car.

The three deputies involved are all still working. Sheriff Garcia wouldn’t comment on what kind of disciplinary action they could face.

blog comments powered by Disqus