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DUI checkpoint nets 4 arrests

For The Madera Tribune

Nathaniel Jacob Cortez, 22, of Madera remains in custody after being arrested on suspicion of DUI and driving on a suspended license, after police saw him driving erratically and at a high speed in the area of Fourth Street and State Route 99 Thursday night.


Repeat offender, 22, nearly 3 times legal limit

A targeted weekend DUI enforcement effort by Madera police resulted in 33 vehicle stops by officers, eight field sobriety tests given to motorists, and four arrests on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Police also arrested repeat offender 22-year-old Nathaniel Jacob Cortez, of Madera, on suspicion of DUI after police saw him driving at a high rate of speed late Thursday, in the area of Fourth Street and State Route 99.

Cortez was alleged to have failed a field sobriety test and was reportedly almost three times over the legal limit for alcohol, a dangerous medical situation, according to officers.

He was also charged with driving on a suspended license. Records indicate Cortez has two previous arrests, both in 2019 for driving under the influence of alcohol, along with at least five other arrests for drunk and disorderly conduct, battery and probation violations. His car was towed and impounded. He remains in custody in lieu of $20,000 bail.

Chief of the Madera Police Department Dino Lawson said DUI stops and arrests had been on the increase, and he urged motorists to be safe behind the wheel.

“We have resumed our Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) (over time) grant funding to battle DUI drivers.” Lawson said. “This past weekend is just an example of what our officers were able to address, and our ongoing efforts to keep the public safe. We will continue to address DUI’s ... obstructive driving. We are also planning an operation to address violations of disabled parking space use. These are several of the concerning issues that our traffic units are addressing.”

Officers would like to remind drivers to never drive under the influence and always designate a sober driver, take a taxi or car service to get home safely.


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