Jeff Irving, 33, is facing two dozen charges related to the incident, including aggravated DWI, multiple counts of leaving the scene of a crash, driving with a revoked license and more, according to New Mexico State Police.
Irving registered a 0.24 on an alcohol breath test, according to a criminal complaint. In New Mexico, the legal limit is .08.
Witnesses said a tan SUV drove through the parade. Video of the incident shared on social media shows people screaming and fleeing the path of the vehicle during the chaotic scene.
Police said Irving initially claimed he had not been drinking prior to the crash but later admitted to police he had been, stating he had “two cans about two to three hours” prior to the crash.
An officer gave Irving several field sobriety tests after the crash and said Irving had trouble balancing.
Irving has a prior DWI conviction, according to police.
Spectators at the event said the Intertribal Ceremonial Parade celebration is special to the community and meant to be a celebration of peace.
Jonathan Nez, president of the Navajo Nation, said he and members of his party could have been hit had they not reacted quickly.
“We were in the path of the vehicle. Thank God, the folks that were around me…our team members or council delegates…were not struck by the vehicle.”