New Mexico has been recognized in the past for taking the lead nationwide in the number of fatal car accidents that have occurred where alcohol was a contributing factor. According to the Santa Fe New Mexican, “excessive use of alcohol robbed New Mexicans of 1,570 years of life annually, per 100,000 of population, between 2006 and 2010-more than any other state.” These accidents that are caused by drunken drivers usually affect more than just those involved in the actual accident. Husbands lose their wives, children lose their parents, and it has become a consistent trend for these types of collisions to occur in New Mexico.
New Bill in NM is Targeting Drunken Drivers
Because of the growing number of deaths that have been reported in New Mexico that were caused by drunk drivers, a new bill is under deliberation that may be a solution residents have been waiting for. Currently, there are many harsh penalties a person can face for causing an accident while under the influence, but they don’t seem to be enough to get people to stop. Most DWI offenders wind up engaging in the act again, which means their punishments aren’t severe enough to teach them that what they are doing is risky to them and all others out on the roadways. That means jail time, fines, and even ignition interlock systems can’t seem to deter these individuals away from drinking and driving.
Currently, those who are convicted of DWI must use a device interlock system for one year, and the penalty increases by one year for each repeat offense. As a result of the increased number of drunk drivers and the accidents caused, lawmakers have proposed a new bill that will make it more difficult for motorists who do have an ignition interlock device to purchase alcohol.
Will DWI Offenders Be Banned From Buying Alcohol?
According to KRQE News 13, “the New Mexico Department of Transportation says about 13,000 drivers throughout the state are supposed to be using ignition interlock devices that won’t let their car start unless their sober.” But, police have found that they are pulling first, second, and third time offenders over for DWI and the issue isn’t going away. Therefore, several lawmakers have come together and are introducing this law that will prohibit any driver who has an ignition interlock driver’s license or ID from purchasing alcohol.
While it may sound promising, there some contradictions that come along with this bill. Yes, driving while drinking is a crime as it increases the chance of an accident occurring, but drinking isn’t. The main issue that has been occurring, though, is that people who have these devices are purchasing alcohol, breathing into the breathalyzer first, and then driving off with a drink in their hands.
The purpose of this bill isn’t to take citizen’s rights away, rather, it a way to help save lives.
And if you have sustained injuries in an accident recently and the driver was drunk, consider contacting an Albuquerque, NM accident attorney at The Law Office of Brian K. Branch immediately.