Driver Who Hit Two Teens Not Legally Drunk

POSTED: Wednesday, May 12, 2010 - 4:45pm

UPDATED: Wednesday, May 12, 2010 - 10:21pm

EL PASO -- Two 14-year-old girls are still in the hospital, recovering from serious injuries, after they were hit by a car while crossing Doniphan near Canutillo Tuesday evening.
Sheriff's deputies say the driver was 23-year-old Alfredo Alvarado.
They also tell us he was arrested last month for DWI..
El Paso Paso police gave us a photo of an Alfredo Alvarado who they arrested last month for DWI.
Back at the scene of Tuesdays crash, deputies say Alvarado smelled like alcohol and admitted to drinking earlier in the day.
Deputies detained him, but later released him after they say he blew a .03 and .04 on a Breathalyzer test, well below the .08 legal limit.
"If you blow below the legal limit that weighs in favor of driver that he was not driving while intoxicated," said District Attorney Jaime Esparza.
His office will eventually review this case so he couldn't comment on it specifically.
But he says any case involving DWI or suspicion of DWI where someone is hurt or killed is complicated.
He looks at a number of factors when deciding if he should prosecute the driver.
"Did they have alcohol on their breath? What was their driving like? What did witnesses say? Were they the cause of the accident and could they have prevented it?
Esparza says it's rare a driver who blows below the legal limit has been charged.
"We have done it that in the past on very few cases. You'd have to be close to .08,” he said.
In this case, deputies say it appears the two teens stepped out into the street in front of the driver and speed was not a factor.

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