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NM launches 100-day campaign against DWI

At left, Lt. Sam White of the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office and Albuquerque police Lt. Donovan Rivera join Gov. Susana Martinez as she unveils an anti-DWI campaign.(Adolphe Pierre-Louis/Albuquerque Journal)

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Drivers in New Mexico can expect an increased police presence this summer as part of a 100-day crackdown on DWI and distracted driving.

The state, as part of it, is launching a $225,000 advertising campaign that features a horror-movie-style clip of a drunken driver haunted by the ghost of a young woman he’s killed.

In an Albuquerque news conference, Gov. Susana Martinez, a former prosecutor, said she’s seen firsthand the damage caused by drunken driving.

“The reality is much more terrible, but we’re hoping this will reach people,” she said of the publicity campaign.

Police officers and sheriff’s deputies from all levels of local government will participate in the summertime crackdown on drunken and distracted driving. Drivers should expected increased checkpoints and saturation patrols, Martinez said.

Besides watching for intoxicated drivers, police will also issue citations for drivers who are texting or otherwise distracted by their cellphones. Officers will watch for speeding and seat-belt violations, too.

DWI deaths have fallen over the past decade, Martinez said, but “one death is just too many.”

Alcohol is often a contributor to fatal crashes. This year, in fact, 156 people have died in traffic crashes – 61 of them alcohol-related, according to the Martinez administration.

Last summer’s “100 days and nights of summer” campaign resulted in 58 DWI arrests and 625 cellphone citations, among other tickets.

About $300,000 – a mix of state and federal money – will pay for the increased patrols and checkpoints.

An image from a new anti-DWI ad unveiled by the state Thursday. In the horror-movie-style clip, a drunken driver is haunted by the ghost of a young woman he’s killed (Source: New Mexico Department of Transportation)


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