Safford Police continue to take allegedly impaired drivers off the streets

Contributed Photo/Courtesy SPD:

By Jon Johnson

jonjohnsonnews@gmail.com

SAFFORD – A Safford officer arrested two drivers on Tuesday, April 28, in separate DUI traffic stops.

The first stop came at about 12:46 a.m. when an officer noticed a vehicle turn east onto 32nd Street from 20th Avenue without using a turn signal.

The officer conducted a traffic stop for the minor moving violation and discovered the driver, identified as Raymond Eyre, appeared to be impaired with alcohol and/or drugs. Additionally, the officer learned Eyre’s driver’s license had already been suspended due to a previous DUI conviction.

After showing outward signs of alcohol and/or drug use, the officer had Eyre take a field sobriety test, which he failed.

Eyre was placed under arrest and initially said there was nothing illegal in his vehicle. After an officer located two pieces of a burned straw and a white crystal substance inside, Eyre allegedly admitted the substance in the straw was methamphetamine and that he had last used meth about six hours before his interaction with the officer.

Eyre’s vehicle was towed from the scene and he was taken to the police department, where he submitted to a blood draw. He was then released and advised that possible charges including aggravated DUI, possession of a dangerous drug, and possession of drug paraphernalia would be pending lab test results and review by prosecutors.

Later that same day, the same officer pulled over a vehicle at about 8:30 p.m. for speeding and ended up making a second DUI arrest.

According to the officer’s report, he was west on Relation Street when he noticed an eastbound sedan traveling at 47 mph in the 35 mph zone.

The officer turned around and activated his emergency lights as the sedan turned south onto 8th Avenue and continued until the officer sounded his siren. The sedan then pulled over in the area of 15th Street.

Upon contact, the driver, identified as Aaron Garza, appeared to have a dazed expression and watery eyes, according to the officer and had a faint smell of alcohol on him.

After showing other outward signs of inebriation, the officer had Garza perform a field sobriety test, which he failed.

Afterward, Garza was placed under arrest for DUI and allegedly admitted to drinking a couple of distilled alcoholic beverages earlier in the day. After not being able to contact anyone to retrieve his car, the officer had the vehicle towed from the scene.

The officer believed Garza to be under the influence of some drug as well as alcohol, but since Garza blew a .133 breath/alcohol concentration on a portable breath test, drug recognition tests were not performed.

Instead, Garza submitted to a blood test and was released to a sober party and was advised that possible charges including DUI were pending lab test analysis and review by prosecutors.   

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