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Arrest at DWI picnic no demo

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LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) — The coordinator of Dona Ana County's drunken-driving prevention program has been arrested on a charge of driving while intoxicated at a DWI awareness picnic.

Police arrested Linda M. Harris, 53, on Wednesday in the parking lot of the park where the event was held.

Several people working near Harris during the day told police they smelled alcohol on her, Sgt. Joel Cano said. An officer later saw her driving in the parking lot and smelled alcohol on her breath, Cano said.

Harris denied drinking and volunteered to take a breath test, Cano said. Her blood-alcohol level was 0.09 percent — the legal limit in New Mexico is 0.08 — and she failed four of five coordination tests, police said.

As Harris did the coordination tests, people gathered to watch, thinking it was a demonstration.

At the police department, Harris was given two more breath tests and registered 0.09 and 0.08, police said.

Harris, saying she was innocent, requested a blood test as well and was taken to a hospital for that., but she must arrange to send the sample to an independent lab for testing, Cano said.

She has been placed on paid administrative leave by the county.