Crime

Mesa DUI Suspect Turns Mitsubishi Eclipse into Clown Car For Children. Three Kids Found in Trunk During DUI Stop

A story about a Mesa man getting a DUI Monday night probably wouldn't be news worthy... unless at the time he had three kids in the trunk of his car, which he did.

Robert Soto, 23, was stopped by police Monday night after a police helicopter responding to a road rage incident spotted him driving his 2003 Mitsubishi Eclipse erratically on Mesa Drive near east Brown Road.

When he was stopped, police say he showed multiple signs of impairment -- his eyes were bloodshot and watery, and his face was red. Then there were the seven children scattered throughout the tiny sports car -- including three in the trunk.

Two of the children belonged to 46-year-old Lynn Meza, who was seated in the passenger seat. The other five were friends of Meza's kids.

Soto told the cops he'd had three beers throughout the night. His blood alcohol level tells a different story.

Soto submitted to a breathalyzer test, which showed his BAC to be .16. That's twice the legal limit and a level hard to achieve after drinking only three beers.

But Soto's an old pro when it comes to driving shitfaced. According to the Arizona Republic, Soto's been arrested five times, including a conviction for a hit-and-run death.

All of the children were returned to their parents, and Soto was charged with DUI and seven counts of child endangerment.

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James King
Contact: James King