A Ketchum man who was arrested for felony driving under the influence was sentenced on Monday to four years of probation rather than prison time, due to a hold from the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement for deportation.
Genaro Rafael Guzman-Mendez, 35, pleaded guilty to the felony offense on Sept. 3 in exchange for a misdemeanor charge of possession of an open alcoholic container being dismissed. He is now in the custody of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency and is currently being detained at the Elmore County Jail awaiting deportation, according to case records.
According to a probable-cause affidavit written by Ketchum Division of the Blaine County Sheriff’s Office Officer Walter Todd, Todd initiated a traffic stop on Guzman-Mendez around 12:30 a.m. on June 23 near Sixth Street and Main Street in Ketchum after he failed to use a turn signal.
Upon making contact with Guzman-Mendez, Todd asked where he was coming from and where he was going, the report states. Guzman-Mendez told Todd, according to the affidavit, that he was coming from The Casino bar and had consumed two beers and was heading home to his residence in Ketchum. Todd noted that Guzman-Mendez appeared “extremely intoxicated.”
Guzman-Mendez gave a breathalyzer sample that registered .227, nearly three times the legal limit of .08, and was placed under arrest for driving under the influence.
During the sentencing hearing on Oct. 28, prosecuting attorney Matt Fredback said that Guzman-Mendez had two previous DUIs, one in Camas County with a blood-alcohol concentration of .256 and another in California, all within the past 10 years, making the third offense a felony. In an evaluation report prior to sentencing, Guzman-Mendez admitted that he consumed a dozen beers before driving on the night of June 23, records state.