The editor of Santa Fe's daily newspaper is facing charges of aggravated DWI following his arrest early this morning.
Ray Rivera, who took over the post at the head of the Santa Fe New Mexican newsroom in August of 2013, is pictured on the Santa Fe County jail website, but much of his personal information including date of birth and address is missing or incorrect.
Santa Fe Police Officer Justin Apodaca writes in a criminal complaint that he encountered Rivera near El Farol on Canyon Road at about 1:20 am, when Rivera was sitting in the driver's seat of a black Mercedes SUV that had hit the curb, causing damage to a tire.
"Mr. Rivera was calling his wife on the cell phone and ... he stated 'I'm too drunk to drive," the complaint reads.
Apodaca reports that Rivera had bloodshot eyes, smelled of alcohol and spoke with slurred speech.
The New Mexican has been a stalwart advocate for DWI prevention, including that in the past it's run special sections with photographs of drunken drivers and publishes regular arrest reports from those facing charges. The paper's publisher Tom Cross did not immediately return a request for comment. Rivera was also unavailable. Criminal defense attorney John Day tells SFR he's representing the editor, who was arraigned today and due to be released from jail this afternoon.
New Mexico laws allow police to charge drivers with aggravate driving while intoxicated if they refuse to submit to chemical blood, breath or urine tests. The charges can also result if a driver has a blood-alcohol level of .16 or higher or if a driver causes bodily injury to another person. According to the criminal complaint in this case, Rivera refused to submit to a test and told the officer "he was not driving at the time the officer found him."
Rivera is also charged with careless driving and lacking proof of insurance, registration and a driver's license.