Safford handles six DUI cases in less than two full days

Contributed Photo/Courtesy SPD

By Jon Johnson 

jonjohnsonnews@gmail.com

SAFFORD – The Safford Police Department was busy keeping the streets free if inebriated drivers last weekend and handles six separate cases involving drivers allegedly under the influence of drugs or alcohol. 

The first incident occurred at about 4:15 a.m. on Friday, Dec. 14, when an officer came upon a Chevy truck stopped in the middle of Central Avenue. The truck was running and the driver, identified as James M.G. Holguin, appeared to be asleep at the wheel. 

When the officer attempted to wake the driver, Holguin reportedly took his foot off the brake and the truck rolled down the road, striking a curb and then rolling into a canal. 

Holguin was unsteady on his feet and showed several signs of alcohol impairment. He allegedly admitted to drinking six to eight beers. 

Holguin’s blood was taken for testing purposes and then he was given a ride to his residence and released with his case pending blood test results. 

Later that same morning, Theresa Villescas was arrested for aggravated DUI after allegedly admitting to recent drug use. 

An officer patrolling along 10th Avenue spotted Villescas driving south on 10th Avenue and had knowledge that Villescas’ driver’s license was revoked. 

The officer conducted a traffic stop and Villescas allegedly admitted to using marijuana, meth, and heroin. 

After a blood draw, Villescas was released to a family member at the Safford Police Department and the officer’s report was forwarded to prosecutors for charging. 

The police had a slight break before the next DUI case, which occurred at 12:55 a.m. on Saturday. 

An officer on patrol on 8th Avenue noticed a green truck drive by without tail lights and performed a traffic stop. 

The driver, Edward Gonzales, smelled of alcohol and showed other signs of intoxication. 

Gonzales subsequently failed a field test and a portable breath test showed a breath/alcohol concentration of .20. As he was placed under arrest for DUI, a half-empty Crown Royal bottle was recovered from his jacket. 

After Gonzales’ blood was taken for testing purposes, he was given a ride to his requested residence. His case is also pending test results. 

That same night, at about 10 p.m., Brian Cluff was arrested for DUI after an officer came upon a white SUV parked in between lanes on U.S. Highway 70 facing eastbound near the intersection with 8th Avenue. 

After another vehicle had to make an evasive maneuver to avoid hitting Cluff, the officer got behind the SUV and waited for it to make its turn onto 8th Avenue before pulling him over. However, the traffic light cycled through and the SUV failed to move, even after the officer honked his horn. 

The officer then pulled up next to the SUV and activated his emergency lights. The officer then approached the driver and instructed him to turn left onto 8th Avenue when the light turned green. The officer noted that the driver, Cluff, appeared to be intoxicated.

During the ensuing traffic stop, Cluff allegedly said he had taken muscle relaxers and the sleep-aid Ambien. Cluff failed a field test and the officer reported the results indicate Cluff was under the influence of multiple drugs. 

Cluff was taken back to the police department to have his blood drawn for testing purposes and was then released to a family member. The officer’s report was forwarded to prosecutors for charging. 

About a half-hour later, Kurtis Addington was placed under arrest for DUI after an officer recognized him driving on 8th Street at about 10: 21 p.m. and realized Addington’s license was suspended. 

Addington reportedly advised it had been more than a week since he had used heroin or meth, but after a field test, the officer said he believed the drug use to be more recent. Addington then allegedly admitted it had actually been only days since he ingested the substances. 

Addington’s blood was taken for testing purposes and his vehicle was placed on a 30-day impound. He was then released pending blood test results and charging from prosecutors. 

The last in the long line of DUI’s over the weekend occurred at about 2:32 a.m. on Sunday when an officer pulled over a motorcycle for speeding while westbound on U.S. Highway 70. 

The operator, Branon Fritz, had his wife on the back of the bike and said they had just left a local bar. After failing a field sobriety test and blowing a breath/alcohol concentration of .127, Fritz was placed under arrest for DUI. 

His blood was then taken for testing purposes and he was released from police custody pending the lab test results and charging from prosecutors.  

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