A Pasco man stopped for not having a front license plate was found to allegedly be driving with a blood-alcohol level more than two times the legal limit.
When Oscar Delagarza was asked how much he had to drink that night, he reportedly told a trooper, “I am going through some bad times, buddy.”
Delagarza, 45, has pleaded innocent in Benton County Superior Court with felony driving under the influence.
A DUI typically is a gross misdemeanor. However, Delagarza qualifies for the enhanced charge because he has a 1993 vehicular assault conviction in Grant County. Details of that case were not immediately known other than it was an alcohol- or drug-related offense.
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In the Benton County case, Delagarza’s truck was stopped by a Washington State Patrol trooper at 2 a.m. July 22.
The trooper in his initial contact with Delagarza immediately noted “an odor of intoxicants from the vehicle,” court documents said. Delagarza also had slurred speech and his movements were lethargic, documents said.
He agreed to do the field sobriety tests but nearly fell during one test, making it unsafe to continue that test, said the trooper.
Delagarza then declined to do the “one leg stand,” saying he had a stomach illness from bad food, documents said.
A breathalyzer performed at the scene returned a blood-alcohol level of 0.190 percent. The legal limit to drive in Washington state is up to 0.08 percent.
Troopers also got a search warrant to collect a sample of his blood, which was sent to the Washington State Patrol Crime Lab for testing.
While Delagarza was at Kadlec Regional Medical Center in Richland, he allegedly was uncooperative and verbally abusive to troopers.
His trial is set for Oct. 24. He posted $2,500 bail and was ordered to have an ignition interlock installed on any vehicle he operates while awaiting trial.
If convicted, the standard range he faces is about one year to one year and five months in prison.