BY MAIRE O’NEILL
A status hearing has been set for Dec. 21 in Los Alamos Magistrate Court for John P. Ortiz, 58, of Los Alamos on charges of driving while intoxicated – fourth or subsequent offense, failure to wear a safety belt and evidence of responsibility.
According to Court documents filed by Los Alamos Police Cpl. Jaime Gonzales, he noticed Ortiz driving west on Trinity Drive past LAPD on Sept. 13 shortly before 5 p.m. without wearing a safety belt. Gonzales caught up with Ortiz at Trinity and 37th Street where he activated his emergency equipment. Gonzales’ report states that Ortiz turned onto 39th Street and turned right onto Gold Street where “it appeared as though the driver was having a difficult time deciding where to park”.
Gonzales made contact with Ortiz and explained the reason for the stop. Ortiz allegedly said he had just left the store. Gonzales’ report states that during the conversation, Ortiz’s responses and speech were “slow to include what I would describe as unsteady”. The report says Ortiz’s eyes were bloodshot and his speech was slightly slurred. During his first approach to the vehicle, Gonzales said he was unable to smell any odor of alcohol emanating from the vehicle but when he returned after writing two citations, he noticed the odor of alcohol.
When asked when he last had a drink, the report states Ortiz answered the previous day. It says Gonzales told Ortiz he did not feel comfortable letting him go and asked Ortiz if it was okay with him if they would do some additional tests to make sure Ortiz was okay. Prior to beginning the standard field sobriety tests, the report says Ortiz attempted to call his father and was told multiple times to hang up or he would be charged with resisting and interfering with an investigation. Gonzales reported that he had to remove the phone from Ortiz’s hands.
Based on his observances during the field sobriety testing, Gonzales decided to place Ortiz under arrest and read him the Mew Mexico Implied Consent. His report says Ortiz refused testing saying he didn’t understand the Implied Consent after Gonzales read it to him several times. While being booked Ortiz allegedly collapsed and was transported to Los Alamos Medical Center where he was admitted due to a medical condition.