Friday, July 22, 2011

Suspected Illegal Drunk Driver Charged For Going Wrong Way On I-43

Armando Rodriguez-Benitez

Wrong-way driver caught on video by freeway cameras.

By H. Nelson Goodson
July 22, 2011

Milwaukee - On Friday, Armando Rodriguez-Benitez, 35, of West Allis was charged for 1st operating while intoxicated and 2nd-degree recklessly endangering safety and cited for operating a vehile with prohibited alcohol concentration of .25, more than triple the legal limit. In Wisconsin, it's illegal to drive with a Breath and Alcohol Concentration of .08 or greater. Benitez was also cited with heading the wrong way on I-43 on early Thursday.
Bail for Benitez was set at $4,321 for both offenses. He has a preliminary court hearing on August 1, and U.S. Immigration Customs and Enforcement (ICE) has put a hold on Benitez for being in the country illegally, according to the Milwaukee County Sheriff's Office.
The sheriff's department reported that a driver crashed into a barrier near the Burleigh and I-43 exit to avoid hitting Benitez who was driving the wrong-way. The driver was not seriously injured.
Benitez drove into the freeway the wrong-way on W. Becher St. and I-43 just after 4:00 a.m. and proceeded northbound on the southbound lanes.
Freeway cameras caught Benitez driving his pick-up truck the wrong-way and almost crashing into oncoming traffic. Benitez was later stopped by a Milwaukee County Sheriff deputy near Capitol Drive.
This year, seven drunk drivers have been arrested for driving the wrong-way on the freeway. Benitez is the third drunk driver arrested this month for going the wrong-way on the Interstate highway, according to the sheriff's department.
When stopped, Benitez was taken into custody after the deputy couldn't understand Spanish and what Benitez was saying during questioning. Benitez was identified as an illegal immigrant by ICE officials who were notified automatically through the Secure Communities Program operating in the sheriff's department.

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