A recent study from from the Office of Applied Studies of the United States Department of Health and Human Services shows that drinking and driving in New Mexico has declined by 3.5% in recent years.
The number of admitted New Mexico drunk drivers fell from 13.9% for the last survey period of 2002 to 2005. This is a significant drop. An Albuquerque Police Department spokesperson attributed the decrease to continued public education on the issues of New Mexico DWI.
The constant messaging from New Mexico Law Enforcement and the Department of Transportation clearly have had an effect. The “You Drink, You Drive, You Lose” campaign certainly must have gotten the attention of many.
Due to the limitations on television time and perhaps viewer attention, the television campaign does not fully set forth the many ways in which drunk drivers lose. The consequences of DWI are severe. Indeed, there are at least 10 really good reasons why you should not drink and drive:
1. Arrest and a at least one night in jail.
2. Automatic loss of New Mexico driving privileges for a minimum of 6 months.
3. Mandatory use of ignition interlock device for a minimum of 6 months even if not convicted for the DWI.
4. Automobile seizure in many localities such as Albuquerque.
5. Mandatory one year criminal probation which includes at a minimum of counseling, community service, alcohol and drug abuse screening, DWI school, Victim Impact Panel and again, an ignition interlock device.
6. Mandatory jail time for repeat DWI and/or Aggravated DWI.
7. Fines, court costs, and very expensive attorney fees that increase with each successive DWI.
8. Minimum of 6 months in jail and up to 18 months in prison time for a 4th DWI charged as felony DWI. It gets much worse from there.
9. Felony child abuse charges if you have your children or other minors in the car. A minor is an individual under the age of 18. This might include the 17 year old girl or boyfriend of your 18 year old child. No kidding!
10. Last but not least, you get your not too flattering portrait published in the Albuquerque Journal.
There are many other reasons as well depending on the individual including possible consequences for employment, security clearances, child custody and time-sharing and immigration status.
So when they say “You Drink, You Drive, You Lose,” it seems they really mean it.