Santa Fe police arrested a man on his ninth DWI charge after an officer saw him driving a four-wheeled all-terrain vehicle on Cerrillos Road at about 11 p.m. Tuesday.
A police report said Angelo Ruiz, 33, 2260 Ben Lane, had fled his residence, where he admitted to police that he had hit his girlfriend earlier in the evening.
Officer Casey Salazar initiated a traffic stop after spotting Ruiz turn onto Airport Road from southbound Cerrillos Road.
The report said Ruiz got off the Yamaha ATV and approached the police car with a folding-knife visible in one of his pockets. Police had him sit on the ground and removed the knife without incident.
“He spontaneously said he had consumed two beers earlier that night,” the report states. The report also says he told police he would rather go to jail for hitting his “ol’ lady than DWI.”
Officers noticed that Ruiz had an ignition interlock driver’s license but no interlock device on the unregistered ATV. According to police, after failing several field sobriety tests, Ruiz agreed to a test in which he recorded a breath alcohol content of .17, more than twice the presumed level for impairment.
He was booked into Santa Fe County jail Wednesday morning without bond.
Records show Ruiz was arrested on DWI chargers eight previous times in the past 12 years, and that this was his third DWI arrest in Santa Fe. His other arrests were in Bernalillo and Albuquerque, where jail records show he had lived previously.
After his sixth DWI arrest, which occurred in 2006 in Santa Fe, Ruiz spent a day in jail before posting a $25,000 bond set by Santa Fe County Magistrate Sandra Miera. A newspaper report in 2006 said Ruiz was arrested after driving a “go-cart” drunk in the Hacienda Mobile Home Park. He recorded a breath alcohol content of .21 at the time of that arrest, according to the report. He pleaded not guilty, and the District Attorney’s Office at the time dismissed charges in that case for unspecified reasons.
The last time Ruiz was arrested in Santa Fe on a DWI charge was in 2007. He pleaded guilty to that charge as well as a charge of driving on a revoked license before state District Judge Stephen Pfeffer. After that conviction — one of seven DWI convictions shown on court records — he only remained on probation and parole, according to information provided by state Department of Corrections spokeswoman Rosie Sais.
The longest time Ruiz has spent in jail stemmed from a charge of bringing contraband into jail, to which Ruiz pleaded guilty in 2008 before state District Judge Michael Vigil. He spent seven months in the state penitentiary for the conviction, much longer than the combined five days he had spent in Santa Fe County jail for DWI arrests in Santa Fe.
He was released from prison in November 2008 and spent the next three years on probation and parole, which he completed successfully by November 2011. Now, seven months later, Ruiz finds himself facing a familiar charge.
District Attorney Angela “Spence” Pacheco, who did not oversee any of Ruiz’s previous cases, stated: “Our office will prosecute him vigorously.”
Ruiz faces a maximum of three years in prison if convicted in the latest case, of which two years would be mandatory by statute. He would also face five years of probation and a lifetime requirement that he only drive vehicles equipped with an interlock system.
Contact Nico Roesler at 986-3089 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @nicoroesler.