SAFFORD – Last Saturday, Safford police made two separate and unrelated DUI arrests. At about 6:00 AM Saturday morning, police were dispatched to the entrance of Sunrise Village in reference to a woman who was passed out in the driver’s seat of a vehicle.
Upon arrival, one of the officers pulled in front of the car and another officer pulled up behind the car. The vehicle was reportedly parked a few feet from the entrance of Sunrise Village, facing north, as if the vehicle was about to enter the village. In addition to the woman passed out in the driver’s seat, there were two male passengers in the back seat. Authorities noted that a moderate odor of alcohol was emanating from the vehicle. Two beer cans and a beer bottle could also be seen sitting on the center console. The vehicle was not running but the keys were in the ignition in the “on” position.
Authorities’ efforts to wake the driver were initially unsuccessful. One of the male passengers told police that the driver’s name was Lisa. Police later learned that that was not her real name.
When authorities finally succeeded in waking the driver, she appeared dazed. She reportedly had bloodshot, watery eyes. When police asked for her ID, she fumbled around with several papers that were in the center console and tried to present one of the papers as her driver’s license. The officer repeated the request for identification. According to the police report her words were slurred and it was hard to understand what she was saying. She looked around for her wallet and finally found it in the passenger door. He driver’s license identified her as McKenzie Cash.
When asked if she knew where she was, she said, “Safford, Sunrise.” When asked why she was parked at the entrance of Sunrise Village she reportedly said that she was leaving, even though her car was facing the entrance as though she was about to enter. When asked why she was there, she replied that she didn’t know.
Cash was given a portable breath test, which showed her breath alcohol concentration to be .149%. Cash was arrested for DUI at approximately 6:30 AM She was transported to the Safford Police Station where she consented to a blood draw. When asked to rate her intoxication level on a scale of 1 to 10, Cash reportedly rated herself a 6 or 7. She apparently told authorities that she had her last drink at about 5:45 AM. Cash was given a citation for DUI and released.
In a separate incident, an officer on patrol at approximately midnight Saturday night, observed a dark colored SUV weaving within its lane in the area of Highway 70 and 14th Avenue. The officer pulled in behind the SUV as it turned southbound onto 14th Avenue. The SUV reportedly accelerated past the posted 25 MPH sign and got up to 37 MPH before reaching the stop sign on 14th Avenue and 8th Street. The officer activated his emergency lights but the SUV continued through the stop sign and crossed the railroad tracks. The vehicle pulled over when the officer activated his siren.
When the officer made contact with the driver he noticed a moderate odor of alcohol emanating from the vehicle. The driver told the officer that he was on his way home from a local bar. The man reportedly had slurred and mumbled speech as he spoke with the officer. The man told the officer he had consumed three beers. When asked to rate his level of intoxication on a scale of 1 to 10, he rated himself at 5. The man, identified as Jimmy Contreras, said that he lived just up the road. Contreras consented to a portable breath test, which showed his breath alcohol concentration level to be .157%
Contreras was placed under arrest for DUI. He asked the officer to retrieve his cell phone from his vehicle. While looking for the phone, the officer found an open can of Bud Light inside the center console in a metal can holder. The beer was cold to the touch and about half full. The officer was unable to locate the phone. The car was towed from the scene and Contreras was transported to the Safford Police Department. Another officer took a blood sample for testing and Contreras was given a ride home. The case is pending blood results.