ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – A driver’s ed instructor is accused of lighting up a joint with a student in the car and then making sure she breathed in as much of the smoke as possible.
Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Deputies said Eric Robertson, 33, crossed the line in August.
According to a criminal complaint, Robertson, the owner of Drive Tech on the Westside, told a 15-year-old girl he was teaching to drive that he thought she was “tense.”
The girl told deputies Robertson offered her marijuana he had at his house to help her out. She said he told her she could drive to his Rio Rancho home during the lesson to get it.
The teen refused. Then, a couple of days later it happened again.
That time, deputies say Robertson drove behind the Drive Tech building near Unser and Paradise northwest and asked the girl if she had ever “French inhaled.”
They say that’s when Robertson kissed the girl and blew the smoke into her mouth.
Robertson, who is married and a new dad, is charged with child abuse and giving drugs to a minor.
Tammy Gregg’s 16-year-old son goes to Drive Tech.
“We came yesterday and they were closed and we didn’t know why. We have been trying to call them and no one answered the phone and we drove up again and here again the closed sign on there and nobody is here,” said Gregg.
Gregg said she paid Drive Tech about $350 this week so her son could learn how to drive.
“I don’t know what to do. I don’t know who to call,” she said.
Robertson was arrested on Wednesday.
In court Thursday, his speeding history was brought up.
According to court records, police have cited him four times for going too fast or driving without insurance.
In one case, a judge referred him to a drivers ed class of his own to get the charges dismissed.
The state said it does do background checks on driving instructors.
When the state looked up Robertson, they said his record was clean. It’s likely because of the dismissal.
Still, parents are not happy.
“My question is how do you open a driving school and have that kind of a record. Can anyone open a driving school?” said Gregg.
News 13 called Drive Tech on Thursday, but no one there wanted to comment.
The state said Robertson has owned Drive Tech for two years.
Robertson has been a licensed instructor since 2009.
The state is now moving to revoke his license to teach driver’s ed.