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A wrecked tanker truck blocks the intersection of Roselawn Avenue and Main Street Sunday while spilling out diesel fuel Sunday afternoon.The truck was driven by Durbin Dayton, who was later found to be intoxicated. (Submitted Photo)

Roswell man will spend six days in jail for accident


By EMIL WHITIS
Daily Press Staff Writer

A Roswell man who was implicated in a tanker truck accident in downtown Artesia Sunday was arrested and subsequently found guilty of driving under the influence of alcohol, driving on a suspended or revoked license and careless driving.

According to a criminal complaint filed in court on Monday, Durbin Dayton, 33, drove a white Mack semi-truck into a street light post on the southwest corner of the intersection of Main Street and Roselawn Avenue after failing to negotiate a left turn.

Artesia Police Department Sgt. Lindell Smith said the accident did not incapacitate the street light, but did result in diesel fuel being spilled onto the street.

Smith said the incident disrupted downtown traffic for two hours, as wrecking crews cleaned the mess.

The complaint states that, after arriving on scene, a New Mexico State Police Officer was redirected to Artesia General Hospital (AGH) where Durbin was being held. Upon arriving at the hospital, the officer was advised Dayton smelled of alcohol, was slurring his speech and had been observed staggering down the hospital corridor.

The officer reported when he made contact with Durbin, the subject denied having any knowledge of the incident.

The officer stated that, as he conversed with the suspect, he noted the unmistakable smell of alcohol, Durbin’s bloodshot eyes and slurred speech.

“At times I could not understand what he was saying,” the officer wrote in the complaint.

According to the complaint, the officer asked Durbin to perform a field sobriety test — a request which was denied. The officer stated Durbin was subsequently advised of the consequences of refusal, but would not budge.

While the officer waited for the subject to be released from the hospital, Durbin allegedly pulled the IV from his hand and blood spurted out onto himself and on the ground. The report states Durbin also urinated in a sink and on his clothes at the hospital.

Upon his release from AGH, Durbin was placed under arrest and escorted to the Artesia Detention Center.

On Monday, Durbin plead no contest to the charges and was sentenced to six days in jail, 364 days of supervised probation, 24 hours of community service, one year of ignition interlock and ordered to complete alcohol screening. He was fined $425 and total court costs were $788.

“When you drive drunk, not only are you affecting yourself, but also the residents and community around you,” said Smith. “Nobody got hurt, but there was a potential for more destruction.”

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