The owner of a concrete company working on the Interstate 77 toll lanes project was charged with driving while impaired at Lake Norman and has two DWI convictions for which he was sentenced to probation, according to court records.
Joaquin Cerdeira Grancho, 57, of Fort Mill, S.C., also was charged with driving while his license was revoked in the latest case, court records show.
Grancho had a blood-alcohol level of .05 when Trooper S.P. Talbot stopped him shortly before 12:30 p.m. Friday, according to a citation Talbot filed in court. The legal limit for driving in North Carolina is .08.
But while Grancho was under the legal limit, according to the citation, the trooper determined that Grancho was driving “while subject to an impairing substance” near Cornelius in northern Mecklenburg County, the citation says.
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“The driver drove the wrong direction on the interstate, was unsteady on his feet, had the odor of alcoholic beverage on his breath” and “performed poorly” on a standardized field sobriety test, the trooper wrote in an affidavit.
Grancho owns Pavers, Walls and Stamped Concrete LLC, according to Better Business Bureau records available online. He declined to comment about the charges when the Observer reached him by phone on Tuesday.
Court records show Grancho was convicted of DWI in Mecklenburg County in 2014 and in McDowell County in 2013. He received probation in each case, according to court documents.
In Grancho’s latest arrest, Grancho was not in the I-77 toll lanes work zone “but was in the median portion of the roadway facing oncoming traffic,” 1st Sgt. Michael Baker told the Observer in an email on Wednesday. Baker is the public information officer for the State Highway Patrol. “The construction zone was on the other side of the median barrier,” he said.
In response to a request for comment from the Observer on Tuesday, a spokeswoman for project contractor Sugar Creek Construction LLC said in a statement that Grancho’s company “is an approved NCDOT contractor and has worked on the I-77 Express Lane project for 1.5 years performing mainly concrete flat work.
“The company as a whole has performed well on the project and we will not punish the local employees for the poor choice that was made of Mr. Grancho,” Sugar Creek Construction said. “The incident is currently being reviewed internally and disciplinary actions will be taken accordingly. We have a zero tolerance policy for alcohol related incidents and any unsafe behaviors in the work area. “
Sugar Creek Construction is a joint venture between construction companies FA Southeast and English Construction, according to the website of I-77 Mobility Partners.
I-77 Mobility Partners is the limited liability corporation managing the 26-mile project for Spain-based contractor Cintra.
The lanes are being built from the Brookshire Freeway in Charlotte to N.C. 150 (Exit 36) in Mooresville and are expected to be finished by year’s end.
Joe Marusak: 704-358-5067; @jmarusak