Mesa police officers pulled over 23-year-old Robert Soto last week after he was involved in a “road-rage incident” in his sports car on February 21. Officers suspected that the Mesa man was driving under the influence, but they probably didn’t expect to find so many children in his small Mitsubishi Eclipse.
The Tucson Citizen reports that police say that they found seven children in Soto’s vehicle at the time of his citation, three of which were riding in the trunk of the car. All of the children found in the vehicle were reportedly under the age of 15.
And Soto's legal trouble doesn't stop with dangerous driving and too many kids in the car. The driver showed multiple signs of impairment during field sobriety tests and allegedly had a blood-alcohol level of .16 percent at the time of his arrest. That's twice Arizona's legal limit of .08 percent! The suspect admitted to consuming three Budweisers earlier that day, but a BAC level of .16 percent is often due to more than just three beers.
Police officers also suspected that Soto may have been impaired by drugs at the time of the road rage incident, because he had bloodshot and watery eyes with a slightly reddened face. The suspect voluntarily submitted to a drug test so that officers would be able to test for drug impairment.
Soto will now likely face charges of aggravated DUI as well as seven counts of endangerment. The suspect reportedly has a criminal record, which consists of a hit-and-run conviction involving death. These are all felony counts, so it looks like Soto can face a multiple-year prison sentence if convicted of the criminal charges.