By FRANCISCO E. JIMENEZ
A 22-year-old Spring Breaker from San Benito was arrested early Friday morning on her way back from South Padre Island.
According to a police report, Jessica Martinez was pulled over by a San Benito police officer at approximately 3:28 a.m. on the 100 block of Palomita Street for weaving in and out of a single marked lane.
During the traffic stop, the police officer detected the smell of alcohol allegedly emitting from the woman as well as locating a small clear plastic bag containing marijuana. A field sobriety test was conducted on Martinez, who allegedly showed signs of intoxication. Police said Martinez reportedly admitted to drinking at the Island earlier that evening.
Martinez was placed under arrest for driving while intoxicated and possession of marijuana. During the booking process and inventory of her property, the officer located two yellow Valium pills. Martinez allegedly claimed to have a prescription for the pills but was unable to produce proof. A possession of a controlled substance charge was added as a result and both possession charges were enhanced due to the offense occurring within 1,000 feet of La Hermosa Housing and Park, according to police.
She was arraigned by Justice of the Peace David Garza and her bonds were set at a total of $13,000.
With many people flocking to South Padre Island for Spring Break and vacation time, San Benito Police Department Assistant Chief of Operations Michael Galvan said the city often sees an increase of traffic around this time from motorists passing through or choosing to stay in San Benito if unable to find hotel accommodations at the Island.
Galvan said that the increase in traffic during Spring Break does increase the number of DWI cases in the city, but he said that the department does not necessarily increase patrol during this time and instead focuses more on traffic enforcement.
“We do increase traffic enforcement because of that,” Galvan said of the Spring Break season. “There’s a lot of college students visiting and having a good time. There are a lot of people on vacation in general. We just enforce more traffic laws. We want everyone to be safe. If you look at any given time, the traffic looks like its doubled.”
According to Galvan, the police department has already seen a couple of pursuits resulting in DWI charges within the first few days of Spring Break. He expressed some precautionary measures to take if planning to visit the Island at this time.
“If you go to the Island and consume alcohol, always have a designated driver,” said Galvan. “Always obey street signs and speed limits, and be aware of your surroundings. Give yourself plenty of time to get from point A to point B, because once you get to the Island traffic gets very congested.”
Read this story in the March 13 edition of the San Benito News, or subscribe to our E-Edition by clicking here.