CHIMAYO, N.M. (KRQE) – It looked like she was trying to flag down a deputy, honking as he drove by as if she needed help. As it turns out, the woman was a suspect — not a victim.
The woman who accidentally caught a deputy’s attention landed in jail for drunk driving.
Gloria Silva, 50, decided to go for a drive near Santuario de Chimayo just before midnight last week, honking her horn over and over again, according to the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office.
A deputy driving by thought the driver was in trouble, but when he pulled her over he suspected she was the one causing trouble.
“You doing okay?” lapel video shows the deputy ask Silva.
“Yeah. We were just going home. We were just going to the cemetery,” she responded.
“Okay, because the reason why I’m stopping you, you blew your horn as you were going by, so I’m trying to figure out what’s going on,” the deputy said.
“I’m sorry,” Silva said. “We were just like… celebrating, like, the memories of…”
Silva was driving a van full of passengers, family members, including two children.
When a deputy asked how much she had to drink, she admitted to drinking two beers and a shot of vodka. She also told the deputy she didn’t have her license with her.
The deputy tried again, asking what was going on.
“We were just celebrating the memory of my, my step… my step-boyfriend and my grandma and my grandpa, and that we just went to the cemetery and we were coming back,” Silva said.
Then came the field sobriety tests.
“Touch them heel to toe, need them to touch just like how I’m touching them, need you to do the same thing,” the deputy explained.
“I can’t,” she said.
“Why?” he asked.
“I’m a little bit buzzed,” Silva said.
Despite her family’s pleas and her own to be let go, the deputy arrested Silva for drunk driving.
“There’s no letting her go. She could’ve went down a road and hurt you, hurt herself, hurt everybody in this vehicle,” the deputy tried to explain to Silva’s family.
Other officers had to give her family a ride because they said they were also drunk, and the van was impounded.
Silva doesn’t have a criminal history.
Despite the children in the van, an incident report shows the District Attorney’s office opted not to charge her with child abuse.