Tougher Drunk Driving Laws On the Way?

Governor Martinez
SANTA FE – Governor Susana Martinez held a press conference at the Roundhouse yesterday to urge stricter penalties for individuals who receive repeated DWI convictions. The Governor announced her support for three key pieces of legislation that target repeat offenders and reduce the number of drunk drivers on New Mexico roads. Senator Kent Cravens (R-Albuquerque), Senator George Muñoz (D-Gallup), Representative Tim Lewis (R-Rio Rancho), Representative Zachary Cook (R-Ruidoso), and numerous other Republican and Democratic lawmakers backing repeat offender legislation joined the Governor to express their support for imposing more stringent penalties. Also at the press conference was LoraLee Ortiz, Executive Director of the New Mexico chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), as well as Pauline Espinoza. Pauline’s husband Mark was killed and her son Ryan was seriously injured in April 2009 by a drunk driver who had just left drug court earlier that day. Pauline is left to raise her four children by herself due to the reckless actions of a repeat offender.
“Drunk driving is an epidemic that affects New Mexicans of all ages and all walks of life,” said Governor Martinez. “Strengthening our DWI laws and providing stiffer penalties for those who get behind the wheel drunk will keep these dangerous drivers off our roads and force them to face the consequences of their actions.”Governor Martinez expressed her support for Rep. Cook’s House Bill 532, requiring anyone arrested for their second DWI to surrender their vehicle. The Governor also backed House Bill 329, requiring that a DWI conviction counts against a criminal’s record during sentencing when they are charged as a habitual offender, and House Bill 330, increasing prison time for individuals who accumulate high numbers of DWI convictions. Both bills were introduced by Rep. Lewis.
Governor Martinez continued, “By seizing vehicles and increasing prison time, we are sending a clear message that this reckless behavior will not be tolerated in New Mexico. It is time to put an end to the stories we hear all too often about repeat offenders getting behind the wheel and causing harm to innocent victims. Our penalties must reflect the severity of the crimes committed. By establishing clear and firm consequences for putting the lives of others at risk, we can make New Mexico a safer place for all of us.”



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