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SANTA FE – State Rep. Georgene Louis has entered a no-contest plea to a charge of drunken driving and been ordered to complete 24 hours of community service.
Louis, a Democrat who represents part of Albuquerque’s West Side, was arrested by Santa Fe police in the final days of a legislative session earlier this year and charged with aggravated drunken driving.
Her plea deal is for DWI, not aggravated DWI, and other charges were dropped, too, after she provided proof of insurance and registration.
“All defendants with similar charges receive a similar offer,” Santa Fe city spokesman David Herndon said.
Court documents say Louis also must comply with drug and alcohol screening, attend an education program on DWI laws, and install an ignition interlock device in her vehicle.
Louis is not seeking reelection this year.
Following her arrest, she also agreed to pay $250 to the State Ethics Commission as part of a settlement. The commission had concluded Louis violated the state Governmental Conduct Act by seeking favorable treatment from officers during her arrest, when she mentioned her legislative office and displayed her legislative license plate.
Two breathalyzer tests conducted on Louis, who later issued a statement taking responsibility for the incident, revealed a 0.17% blood alcohol content – more than twice New Mexico’s presumed level of intoxication, according to a criminal complaint.
Under state law, aggravated drunken driving charges can be filed when a suspect’s blood alcohol content is 0.16% or higher, in cases where someone is injured or when an individual refuses to submit to testing.
A no-contest plea means the defendant is not contesting the charge and the court treats it as a judgment of guilt for that proceeding only.
Louis signed the plea in May.