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Thomas Begay

Oct. 30, 11:23 pm

DWI (Seventh)

Multiple officers converged in Gamerco late in the evening to assist with two people believed to be intoxicated.

McKinley County Sheriff’s Deputy Dewayne Holder was dispatched to the intersection of South Chino Loop and Carbon Coal Road after being told Laguna Police Officer Shawn Peterson was going to pull a suspected drunk driver over.

Holder arrived at the scene and met with Peterson, who had pulled over a white Dodge Caravan. He was standing with the driver, Thomas F. Begay, 54, of Tohatchi. Holder noted Begay had bloodshot eyes and had the smell of alcohol on his breath.

Begay slurred his words as he responded to Holder’s questions, saying he had been drinking all day. He refused to take the standard field sobriety tests.

Holder placed Begay under arrest while two other MCSO officers arrived to assist with the investigation. Lieutenant Monty Yazzie met with an intoxicated female passenger in the Caravan, who also told Holder about a half-empty bottle of Importer’s Vodka and Bud Light cans on the front and rear floorboards.

The female was transported to Gallup Indian Medical Center for clearance while Holder transported Begay to the sheriff’s office for the breath test. He posted samples of .33 and .32.

Since Begay posted samples higher than .25, he was required to get medical clearance before being booked. After receiving clearance from GIMC, Holder transported Begay to McKinley County Adult Detention Center and booked him on charges of DWI, driving with a suspended or revoked license, having an open container in a vehicle, and driving on roadways laned for traffic.