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Man arrested for DUI on Independence Day

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By Sarah von Sternberg

Phillip Swazo, 28, of Santa Fe was arrested in White Rock on July 4 for driving under the influence of intoxicating liquor or drugs, driving on a suspended license, carrying an open container of alcohol and displaying an invalid registration plate.

On July 4, at about 10:10 p.m., Los Alamos Police Department Cpl. Jaime Gonzales was conducting patrols on Meadow Lane after the fireworks show when he spotted a driver holding a bottle of whiskey.

“The driver brought a large bottle of Crown Royal up to his face as if he was going to take a drink,” said Gonzales in his statement of probable cause.

The LAPD officer conducted a traffic stop and approached the vehicle, making contact with the driver who was identified as Swazo.

When Gonzales asked the passengers to hand over the alcohol in the car, they gave an opened bottle of tequila and said the Crown Royal was thrown in the back. “While speaking with the driver, I could smell an odor of an alcoholic beverage emanating from the vehicle.”

Gonzales learned from dispatch that Swazo’s license had been revoked, so he asked Swazo to step out of the car.

“He stated that he had nothing to drink inside the vehicle but he did drink alcohol at the park during the festivities.”

Gonzales conducted a field sobriety test, which Swazo struggled with.

When asked on a scale of one to 10 how drunk Swazo thought he was, Swazo responded with five. Swazo then reportedly admitted that he should not have been driving, according to the police report.

Gonzales arrested Swazo for DWI and driving on a revoked license. He was then transported to the Los Alamos Detention Center.

Swazo’s first appearance before Magistrate Judge Pat Casados is set for Aug. 14.