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New Mexico Representative Monica Youngblood is facing public backlash after being caught in a viral video attempting to talk her way out of a DWI charge.

Her situation is unique because she is well known in politics for supporting tougher drunk driving penalties. She has sponsored several similar bills throughout her three terms as a lawmaker and is highly regarded as tough on crime. Most recently, she had proposed legislation that would reinstate the death penalty for convicted killers of children or police officers in her state of New Mexico.

Police released the 44-minute long video footage on May 22nd. It shows the lawmaker exiting her BMW. The officer says that he can smell alcohol on the suspect’s breath, but she responds in shock. She explains to the officer how she fights for him every chance she gets as a representative. 

Despite her protests, the state representative was asked to perform a field sobriety test. She can be seen balancing on one leg and counting in the video. She is asked to walk in a straight line. The representative lost her balance momentarily but quickly regains control. 

When officers asked her to blow into a breathalyzer test to confirm her blood alcohol level, she refused. She becomes tearful and visibly upset when the police begin to handcuff her. She rattles off about her perfect field sobriety test and asks the officers to remove the handcuffs. She also argues that she writes bills to protect the police. 

State representative Youngblood was arrested despite her vocal opposition. She faces one count of aggravated DWI. She was released from jail, and she is expected back in court on June 13. She has publicly stated that she had not had anything to drink that day.