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Drunk driver who hit Gallup parade-goers held till trial

August 12, 2022 GMT

GALLUP, N.M. (AP) — A man charged with driving drunk without a valid license and then barreling into a parade in Gallup will remain jailed until trial.

A McKinley County-Gallup District Court judge on Friday denied 33-year-old Jeff Irving, who is accused of injuring at least 15 people last week, any conditional release.

Judge Louis DePauli said he “had no faith” that Irving could refrain from drinking and driving. He cited previous DWI charges and failures to show up in court.

Barry Klopfer, Irving’s defense attorney, argued Irving was never convicted of most charges and deserved to be out of jail.

Irving faces aggravated DWI, 14 counts of leaving the scene of an accident, one felony count of leaving the scene resulting in great bodily harm and third-degree felony aggravated fleeing.

Prosecutors say Irving’s blood alcohol level was three times the legal limit when he drove an SUV into the Inter-Tribal Ceremonial Parade on Aug. 5. Irving, who had two passengers, sped through downtown Gallup about 15 minutes after the nighttime parade started.

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His license had been revoked or suspended for another drunken driving charge and the SUV had no registration or insurance, police said.

The event was the kick-off of the 10-day Gallup Intertribal Ceremonial Centennial Celebration. Videos on social media showed people yelling for others to get out of the way and some pushing parade-goers to safety.