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Man arrested for underage drinking day before turning 21

Jorge Luis Saenz Jr.

WORTHINGTON -- Why was a man without a valid license driving after drinking the day before he turned 21? Because he wanted to, he allegedly told the officer who stopped him.

Jorge Luis Saenz Jr., who has been convicted of driving while intoxicated at least three times and had his license cancelled inimical to public safety, allegedly told the officer he was driving around the lake because he wanted to. The officer observed Saenz drive past Tuesday night and knew the man did not have a license.

According to the criminal complaint, Saenz was charged with driving after cancellation-inimical to public safety, underage drinking and driving, illegal acts, violation of a restricted license and contempt of court.

Saenz allegedly told the officer his birthday was the following day and acknowledged he did not have a valid driver's license. The officer, who had noticed the smell of alcohol, asked Saenz if he had been drinking. Initially he denied it, then Saenz admitted he had a shot of tequila an hour earlier.

A preliminary breath test showed Saenz had a blood alcohol concentration of .035 percent.

Saenz is on probation for felony burglary, and one of the conditions on his probation is abstinence from alcohol.

He pleaded guilty in March 2009 to third-degree burglary and theft after being accused of breaking into a business and stealing a safe and the van to carry it in October 2008.

Saenz and two others were charged after authorities responded to a 4 a.m. call of an unknown white van in the caller's yard. Upon arrival, the officer found people standing next to a van by a storage shed and recognized Saenz, who allegedly said it was his house and he was moving a safe for a friend.

After tracing the registration from the van, authorities learned it had been stolen from a business in Adrian. During interviews, the men involved admitted they had gone to the business to force the safe open, but when they were unsuccessful they decided to steal the van to transport the safe back to Worthington.

Saenz was sentenced to 90 days in jail and placed on probation for five years. His probation conditions required that he attend Narcotics Anonymous, Alcohol Anonymous, have a chemical dependency evaluation, no alcohol or controlled substance use and no misdemeanor violations.

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