--2 DPS Special Investigations Division poised to investigate source of wrong-way driver's liquor
       
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DPS Special Investigations Division poised to investigate source of wrong-way driver's liquor

No targets named yet

December 15, 2010, 11:40 am
By Wren Abbot

Agents from the New Mexico Department of Public Safety Special Investigations Division, which enforces the state Liquor Control Act, has met with representatives of Santa Fe Police regarding the fatal wrong-way crash that occurred on I-25 yesterday.

"We are working with the agent up in Santa Fe, and as soon as they're done or they give the go-ahead that they're done, we'll do our administrative investigation," Lt. Chris Ortiz tells SFR.

In such cases, SID agents work in conjunction with criminal investigators to investigate businesses licensed to sell alcohol, but criminal investigation of either people directly involved in the accident, servers or licensees takes precedence over SID's administrative investigation, Ortiz says.

Ortiz says he does not know at this point who the potential target or targets of such an investigation would be in this case. Santa Fe Police Chief Aric Wheeler says the detectives working the case attended the autopsy of the decedent this morning, and haven't investigated leads related to possible over-serving of the driver yet.

Ortiz said proving that a drunk driver was over-served by a certain establishment is tricky for many reasons. Even if the suspected drunk driver paid with a credit card, there has to be eyewitness proof that he or she was actually drinking, rather than just picking up a tab for others.

Investigators also have to use the suspect's blood alcohol concentration to determine the window of time during which his or her drinking could have affected it.

 

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