Phillip Swazo, 28, of Santa Fe was arrested July 4 after the fireworks display in White Rock and charged with driving under the influence of intoxicating liquor or drugs – fourth or subsequent offense, driving while license is suspended or revoked, open container of alcoholic beverage – third offense and display of registration plate sticker other than one validated for the current registration period.
Los Alamos Police Cpl. Jaime Gonzales was on bike patrol passing vehicles when he observed Swazo bring a large bottle of liquor up to his mouth as if he was going to take a drink. He conducted a traffic stop and asked Swazo and his passengers to hand over the alcohol that was in the vehicle. Gonzales was handed an already open liquor bottle and told that the other bottle had been thrown into the back.
Gonzales was notified by LAPD Dispatch that Swazo’s license was revoked. He asked Swazo to step out of the vehicle and could smell the odor of an alcoholic beverage emanating from his person. After attempting to administer field sobriety tests, Gonzales discussed Swazo’s level of intoxication with him and Swazo agreed that he shouldn’t have been driving.
Gonzales read Swazo the New Mexico Implied Consent Act (his rights) but he refused to answer. Swazo was transported to the Los Alamos Detention Center where he was booked.