NEW MEXICO - There were 125 alcohol-involved crash fatalities in New Mexico last year. The New Mexico Department of Transportation Cabinet Sec. Mike Sandoval says, “New Mexico is making progress to stop drunk driving, but everyone has to take it seriously. One death on our roadways is one too many. We’re better than that. We have a responsibility to change the destructive behaviors generation after generation of New Mexican’s continue to repeat. Driving drunk is never acceptable.”
New Mexico passed its first drunk driving law in 1913, but by 1982, there were more than 8,000 alcohol-involved crashes. For a number of years in the 80’s and 90’s, New Mexico had one of the worst drunk driving problems in the nation. Through concerted anti-DWI efforts, the State managed to climb out of the dismal rankings, and in 2008 dropped out of the nation’s worst 10 states for the number of DWI fatalities. In 2016, New Mexico increased the penalty for drunk drivers in fatal crashes, from 6 years to 15 years. Last year, New Mexico had a little more than 2,000 alcohol involved crashes. Sandoval says, “It’s definitely better than 30 plus years ago, but we still have a tremendous fight to win. NMDOT’s partnerships with statewide law enforcement and DWI prevention teams are strong. With the public’s help, we can stop the pattern of drunk driving.”
Law enforcement across the State will be out in full force beginning April 29ththrough May 7thto catch drunk drivers. Last year, law enforcement agencies around the State made a total of 208 DWI arrests during the month of May. State Police and law enforcement agencies around New Mexico will be conducting increased saturation patrols and checkpoints in an effort to “ENDWI”.