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NM sees 36-year low in DWI deaths in 2015

SANTA FE, N.M. — New Mexico had a 36-year low in the number of DWI deaths that occurred on state roadways last year, Gov. Susana Martinez announced during a news conference today in Albuquerque.

In 2015, there were 122 DWI deaths, a 28 percent decrease from 2014, according to a news release. The number marks a 70 percent decrease since 1979, the year New Mexico started tracking DWI fatalities.

“A 36-year low in DWI deaths is a big deal. But our greatest challenge remains: ending drunk driving for good and getting that number to zero,” Martinez said in a statement. “We still have a lot of work to do.”

The governor recently signed into a law a new measure that cracks down on the worst repeat DWI offenders and substantially increases penalties for drunk drivers who kill someone on the road.

“These statistics are encouraging because they show we’ve made a lot of progress over the years. But our work isn’t done until we completely eliminate DWI in New Mexico,” said New Mexico State Police Chief Pete Kassetas in a statement. “It’s so simple – if you’ve been drinking, don’t get behind the wheel of a car.”