ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - A man arrested after a traffic stop fell asleep before an officer arrived to administer a field sobriety test. But authorities say James Lovato, 50, last week's incident was his 18th arrest on a charge of drunken driving.
The DWI Resource Center, which tracks drunken driving convictions back to 1984, said Lovato has been convicted at least eight times. State records show his first arrest was in 1977. In addition, a criminal complaint against him in the latest arrest said his license has been revoked seven times.
He was charged in Saturday's incident with aggravated driving while intoxicated on a fourth or subsequent offense.
A breath test found his breath-alcohol level was 0.16 percent, twice the state's presumed level of intoxication.
Lovato was driving on a revoked license when police said they clocked him at 77 mph in a 65 mph zone on Interstate 25 north of Albuquerque.
A complaint filed in metropolitan court said police had to force Lovato's car to the side of the road to get him to stop. Police then noticed an open beer bottle near the driver's seat, and said Lovato's eyes were bloodshot and his breath smelled of alcohol.
The complaint said three open containers of beer were found in the car.
Police also said Lovato fell asleep by the time a DWI officer arrived to administer the sobriety test.
Lovato pleaded guilty last year to a charge of fourth or subsequent offense DWI and was sentenced last October to 12 months in a community custody program followed by probation.
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