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.