NM study: Repeat DWI offenders growing problem

Alamogordo Daily News - New Mexico continues to struggle with one of the nation's worst drunken driving problems, and Gov. Susana Martinez contends the state needs to focus on a growing threat from offenders who repeatedly drink and drive despite multiple arrests and convictions. Nearly 60 percent of alcohol-related traffic deaths last year involved a driver with more than one arrest or conviction for drunken driving, according to a new analysis by the Department of Transportation's Traffic Safety Bureau. That's up from 35 percent in 2009 and 47 percent in 2010. A similar study by the agency in 2006 found that 30 percent of alcohol-involved fatalities were caused by repeat offenders and 70 percent by those with a first-time arrest or conviction for driving while intoxicated. "This is a dramatic shift that should call all of us to action," the governor said in a statement. "Repeat drunk drivers simply aren't getting the message, and innocent lives are being lost as a result." New Mexico once had the worst drunken driving problem in the nation. However, the state has dropped out of the top 10 nationally for the number of DWI fatalities per 100,000 population after repeatedly changing the law to toughen penalties, increase enforcement and provide court-based alcohol treatment programs for those convicted of drunken driving. In 2011, 154 people died in alcohol-involved traffic crashes—representing about two-fifths of all highway deaths in the state. Martinez is a former prosecutor and since taking office last year has unsuccessfully sought changes in law to increase penalties for repeat drunken drivers. She plans to ask the Legislature again next year to approve longer prison terms for repeat offenders as well as allow authorities to seize the vehicles of repeat drunken drivers. Read More News New Mexico



john martin said...

New Mexico continues to struggle with one of the nation's worst drunken driving problems,nice but If your first New Mexico drunk drivingoffense is an aggravated DWI, a minimum of 48 hours in jail is mandatory in addition to the other penalties.

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