Motorist’s tip leads to man’s 5th DWI arrest

Published 11:45 pm Friday, August 8, 2014

By Stephen Hemelt

LAPLACE — Law enforcement often receives calls from residents reporting reckless and suspected impaired driving.

“Most of the time, unless the person is following them, we don’t catch them,” Sgt. Dane Clement of the St. John the Baptist Parish Sheriff’s Office said. “In this situation, the person pulled over.”

Clement was referring to a case Sunday, in which a Gretna man was eventually saddled with his fifth DWI arrest in the past 10 years.

At 3:56 p.m. Sunday, deputies responded to the Pilot Travel Center on U.S. 51 in LaPlace after a motorist reported a white Chevrolet Astro van swerving all over Interstate 10 had just stopped at the location.

“Deputies identified the driver of the van as Eduardo Demetrio Benedetto, 59, from Gretna,” a Sheriff’s Office release said.

“During the investigation, it was revealed that Benedetto had no driver’s license for a number of years, and the van was cluttered with several opened alcoholic beverage containers.

“His blood alcohol content measured .165 percent on the intoxilyzer. The blood alcohol content threshold in Louisiana is .08 percent.”

Benedetto was arrested and booked with DWI, expired driver’s license, possession of alcoholic beverages in a motor vehicle and careless operation.

Authorities said he remains in custody in lieu of a $76,000 bond.

“This DWI arrest was Benedetto’s fifth DWI arrest in ten years,” the release said. “He had other DWI arrests prior to the last ten-year period.”