Police: NM appeals judge arrested on DWI charges

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico Appeals Court Judge Robert Eugene Robles has been arrested on aggravated drunken driving and reckless driving charges, police said.

Robles, 60, was pulled over around 1 a.m. Wednesday on an Albuquerque street, according to police spokesman Robert Gibbs.

He told The Associated Press late Wednesday night that Robles was held at the Bernalillo County Metropolitan Detention Center and released on his own recognizance after 10-12 hours.

Gibbs gave no further details about the arrest, but the Las Cruces Sun-News reported that police put his breath-alcohol concentration at .20, well above the state's legal limit of .08.

Court records said Robles allegedly ran a red light at 50 mph and nearly crashed his car into a police officer, the Albuquerque Journal reported.

A criminal complaint, filed with the records in Metropolitan Court, said the officer was forced to drive onto a sidewalk to avoid a collision.

The complaint said Robles told police that he had been "just circling around" on a "sad and lonely night."

When asked how much alcohol he had consumed, Robles replied "not that much," the complaint continued.

Chief Appeals Court Judge Celia Foy-Castillo told the Journal that Robles has taken a voluntary unpaid leave of absence from the Appeals Court, effective immediately.

Foy-Castillo also said Robles notified the state Judicial Standards Commission of his arrest.

Robles was first appointed to the appellate court in 2008 and was re-elected last November.

He served as a state district judge in Dona Ana County for 17 years until the 2008 appointment.

During his tenure on the district court bench, he was elected by his colleagues as chief judge for nine years.

The Sun-News said Robles, an Albuquerque native, was in private practice in Las Cruces for 16 years before becoming a judge. His practice has included personal injury, commercial, domestic relations and criminal law.