Video: Rep. Monica Youngblood insists she didn’t consume alcohol
May 22, 2018 10:14 PM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Newly released police lapel video of State Rep. Monica Youngblood reveals she tried to convince officers not to arrest her for aggravated DWI.
When an officer initially stopped Youngblood at a DWI checkpoint early Sunday morning on Paseo Del Norte, Youngblood was cordial and cooperative. She appeared confident that she would be able to pass a field sobriety test.
After viewing the lapel video, KOB-TV legal expert and defense attorney Ahmad Assed said he could spot some of Youngblood's missteps when an officer instructed her to walk in a straight line.
"I think the miscounting, the [dropping of the] left hand, dropping the foot, swaying, I saw some swaying as well," Assed said.
Though it’s difficult to see in the lapel, Assed said it's likely the officer also saw nystagmus in her eyes.
"It's a naturally occurring phenomenon, the nystagmus, but alcohol basically magnifies or exaggerates the involuntary jerkiness," Assed said.
Eleven minutes into the lapel video, an officer asked Youngblood to recite the alphabet starting with the letter F and ending with the letter R. Youngblood complied but finished the alphabet rather than ending with R.
Assed said not following instructions closely enough during a field sobriety test is enough for an officer to have probable cause and make an arrest.
Eighteen minutes into the lapel video, Youngblood argued that she performed adequately on all of the field sobriety tests, but the officer disagrees.
Twenty one minutes into the video, Youngblood brings up her advocacy for law enforcement while serving as a state representative.
The begging, Assed said, likely won’t be a factor in her case. Instead, Assed said her performance during her sobriety tests and the fact that she refused to take a breathalyzer will.
"They're going to bring in evidence of the contact, they're going to bring in evidence of her interactions with the officer, they're going to bring in evidence of the field sobriety test," Assed said. "They're going to bring in evidence of the refusal to take the breath test."
KOB-TV stopped by Youngblood’s residence twice this week but no one answered. She sent KOB-TV the following statement Sunday hours after her arrest and subsequent release.
"As a legislator, I have always taken drinking and driving seriously," she said in the statement. "While I regret the situation altogether, I most definitely regret not taking the breathalyzer test. I look forward to bringing this matter to a swift and just conclusion."
KOB-TV reached out to the Republican Party of New Mexico and Gov. Susana Martinez's office Monday and Tuesday but has yet to hear back.
Updated: May 22, 2018 10:14 PM
Created: May 22, 2018 02:30 PM
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