State Senator Faces Jail for Drunk Driving That Caused Crash | Beaufort County Now | Prosecutors in New Mexico are calling for a Democratic State Senator to receive the maximum sentence after he was convicted of aggravated drunken driving and reckless driving last month. | daily wire, ben shapiro, state senator, drunk driving, crash, january 7, 2020

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State Senator Faces Jail for Drunk Driving That Caused Crash

Publisher's note: This informational nugget was sent to me by Ben Shapiro, who represents the Daily Wire, and since this is one of the most topical news events, it should be published on BCN.

The author of this post is Ashe Schow.

    Prosecutors in New Mexico are calling for a Democratic State Senator to receive the maximum sentence after he was convicted of aggravated drunken driving and reckless driving last month.

    State Sen. Richard Martinez (D-Ojo Caliente) was found guilty in in December after a two-day trial and is scheduled for sentencing Tuesday afternoon, The Associated Press reported.

    "Prosecutors Mark Probasco and Peter Valencia say Martinez was intimately aware as a lawmaker and former magistrate judge of rules he ignored by drinking and driving and should receive the maximum jail sentence. They also are recommending a fine of $900, driving school, an ignition breathalyzer device for Martinez's car and restitution of a couple injured in the June crash," the outlet reported.

    "Defendant's actions demand the full gamut of punishment," Valencia and Probasco wrote in a sentencing memo ahead of the Tuesday hearing, according to The Santa Fe New Mexican.

    "Unlike many DWI offenders, Defendant knew the specific harm that comes when people drink and drive," they added in their memo. "His life as a career public servant shows why he should know better."

    "Defendant is sophisticated, with a wealth of experience in both the lawmaking and the law-executing process," the memo also said. "Defendant thus committed these crimes with the full agency, awareness, and intelligence of a person learned in the law and learned in the horrific consequences of this type of crime. Despite this awareness, he still made the choice to drink and drive."

    Martinez was charged after a June incident that involved him rear-ending a vehicle stopped at a red light. Martinez then refused to take a field sobriety test.

    The AP reported that "Martinez pleaded not guilty and his defense attorney suggested the senator became disoriented as a result of hitting his head in the collision."

    "Police body-camera video showed Martinez fumbling over a field sobriety test and reacting with disbelief from a hospital bed when notified that he would be placed under arrest and could lose his driving privileges," the outlet continued.

    Footage of his arrest from a hospital bed can be found HERE.

    State District Judge Francis Mathew determined Martinez was guilty on December 17 during a bench trial that occurred nearly six months after the traffic accident. More than a week later, on December 28, state "Senate Democrats announced Martinez would step down from his committee leadership roles, including as chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee," the New Mexican reported.

    Martinez refused to resign, however, and said he plans to seek re-election in 2020. A primary challenger plans to take on Martinez, but the AP reported this person also has a drunk driving conviction - thought it is from decades ago.

    The state Attorney General's office is asking for the maximum 180-day jail sentence for Martinez. The New Mexican reported that the state senator "faces a mandatory five days of incarceration for the reckless driving charge and a minimum of 48 hours in jail for the aggravated drunken-driving charge." Prosecutors in the AG's office, however, want 90 days for each offense.

    The AG's office is also demanding Martinez pay restitution to Johnny and Gerrie Sisneros, who were in the Jeep hit by the state senator in the crash. The couple suffered multiple injuries, according to the New Mexican.

    Prosecutors also said in their memo that Martinez "has displayed a total lack of remorse," for his actions and even made comments in September that he didn't think the incident would hurt his political career. In fact, he said it would "make me a better senator."


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