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Middle-school teacher charged with DWI after crash

RIO RANCHO, N.M. — A local middle-school teacher has been charged with drunken driving.

According to a Rio Rancho Police report, Trinity Watt, 42, of Rio Rancho, was charged with DWI on March 20, after blood-alcohol test results came back from an incident last October. Watt teaches at Mountain View Middle School, according to the report and the Rio Rancho Public Schools website.

According to the report, an officer was called to the intersection of Unser Boulevard and Mariposa Parkway just after 7 p.m. Oct. 9 after a sergeant noticed Watt showing signs of intoxication as she climbed from her wrecked car after being involved in a single-vehicle rollover crash.

The officer found Watt in the back of an ambulance, being treated for a head wound. According to the report, she told him her car had hydroplaned because the road was wet.

The officer wrote that she denied consuming alcoholic beverages earlier, but smelled of alcohol and had bloodshot, watery eyes and slurred speech.

Because of her head injury, the officer couldn’t use standard field-sobriety tests. When the officer started to explain alternative tests, Watt became belligerent, saying she wasn’t going to the hospital or the police station, according to the report.

She ended up submitting to two alternative tests, which showed impairment, the officer wrote. When told she was being arrested for DWI, according to the report, Watt briefly resisted being taken into custody and then demanded to be taken to the hospital.

The officer took her to UNM Sandoval Regional Medical Center, where her blood was drawn for testing of alcohol levels and she was left to receive medical care. The officer noted that charges were pending results of the blood test.

According to a supplemental report, when the results came back in March, they indicated Watt had a blood-alcohol content of .11, above the legal intoxication limit of .08. She was summonsed to Rio Rancho Municipal Court, and her trial is scheduled for June.

Rio Rancho Public Schools spokeswoman Beth Pendergrass said driving isn’t a condition of employment for teachers, so a DWI charge doesn’t change a teacher’s position with the schools. She said she couldn’t speak specifically about Watt.

Personnel information is confidential as per New Mexico statute.

Watt’s attorney, Scott W. Jaworski, didn’t return a phone call seeking comment.