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Karis Begaye BAC Twice Legal Limit

Karis Begaye BAC Twice Legal Limit
June 12
12:53 2018

A report by the Arizona Department of Public Safety revealed that the blood alcohol level of Karis Begaye, daughter of Navajo Nation President Russell Begaye, was more than twice the legal limit when she was involved in an accident April 22.

The Arizona DPS report was released June 8.

Begaye, who serves as legal council for the Office of the President, had a BAC 0f .211. The legal limit in Arizona is .08.

Begaye originally returned to work and was assigned a replacement tribal vehicle until a public outcry led to her being placed on paid administrative leave.

Begaye, 41, also sought rehabilitation.

After colliding with a semi-trailer and damaging a guardrail Begaye admitted to an officer on the scene that she had had a couple glasses of wine.

However the DPS report noted that a bottle of vodka was found on the ground beside Begaye’s car and an open bottle of tequila was found in the backseat.

Though she was arrested, Begaye has yet to be officially charged.

 But the driving under the influence situation involving the president’s daughter hasn’t gone away.

Even the 23rd Navajo Nation Council got into the act, passing a resolution calling for President Begaye to terminate his daughter’s employment. The resolution was sponsored by Delegate Otto Tso.

Navajo Nation policy is that any employee caught driving a tribal vehicle while intoxicated is immediately terminated.

But, technically, Begaye isn’t a tribal employee. She is considered an “at-will” employee, serving at the pleasure of the president.

Earlier this month the Fort Defiance Chapter passed a resolution calling for Begaye to be removed from office. Chapter President Wilson Stewart, Jr., said other chapters have asked for a copy of the resolution.

This is Begaye’s third driving while intoxicated arrest, though first in Arizona. She was also charged in New Mexico in 2002 and 2003.

Tso said there are other questions that the president’s office needs to answer.

Who is paying for Karis Begay’s rehab? And was she properly vetted to obtain a tribal vehicle, especially considering she had prior DUIs, Tso wondered.

A statement issued by the president’s office said the matter has been handled properly.

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