Graham County Sheriff’s deputies were dispatched to Solomon last Friday afternoon regarding a BOLO (Be on the look out) Vehicle that was driving recklessly and driving head on into oncoming vehicles. While en route authorities were notified that the vehicle had run off the road in the area of Clifton Street and US Highway 70. An Arizona State Trooper was the first on the scene. The vehicle had run off the road, into a ditch and back onto the shoulder on US Highway 70.
The trooper told the deputy that the woman, identified as Ramona Benta, was intoxicated. The trooper had conducted a breath test, which indicated Benta’s blood alcohol level was .181. According to the police report, Benta was a suspect in a separate DUI case from approximately 1 month ago in which she was arrested and had an implied consent suspension.
Benta’s speech was very slurred and unintelligible. She had apparently urinated herself. She was not able to keep her balance and was not listening to the deputy’s commands. The deputy placed Benta in the back seat of his patrol car, so he could speak to her without her falling to the ground. Benta admitted that she had been drinking and driving. While the deputy was speaking with Benta, she continued to talk about unrelated subjects. She kept leaning close toward the deputy and he had to tell her to back off several times.
For safety reasons, field sobriety tests were not conducted because of Benta’s inability to balance herself. She was placed under arrest. When the deputy advised of her of her Miranda rights and asked her if she understood, she yelled back at him, “yes, I understand!”
The deputy asked Benta what had happened. She said that she had been with a male friend whom she identified to the deputy by name. She said that she thought he was a friend, but he got mean with her and tried to choke her. She said that when he got mean, she got in her vehicle and left. She told the deputy that the man she was with lived at a residence near Thriftee. The deputy later ran the information about the man she identified as Rick with no results.
While the deputy tried to talk to Benta about the incident, she continued to talk about other events. The deputy told her that he would talk to her about those things after he was done with his investigation. Benta apparently became agitated hearing this and stated, “no one will listen to me.”
After a blood sample was taken at the jail, Benta was transported to a residence and left in the care of a relative.