The Car and Truck Fleet and Leasing Management Magazine

N.M. Gov. Pushes to Toughen DWI Penalties

August 12, 2009

ALBUQUERQUE, NM --- New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson is advocating that first-time drunken driving offenses in the state should carry three days of mandatory jail time and $2,500 in fines. 

During a news conference this week, Richardson said that although New Mexico has decreased alcohol-involved fatalities by 35 percent, that's still not enough. The Democratic governor said tougher penalties and the closure of loopholes involving drunken driving are part of a package of bills he plans to put before the Legislature in January. State Sen. Peter Wirth (D-Santa Fe) has agreed to introduce the legislation. 

Richardson was joined by Mothers Against Drunk Driving President Laura Dean-Mooney, who offered her support for the legislative agenda. 

Richardson also wants legislation that would prevent drivers who refuse to provide blood or breath samples to plea down to non-DWI charges. 

An estimated 9,000 first-time DWI offenders are arrested annually in New Mexico. 

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