LA County to get DWI funds

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By Jennifer Garcia

In an ongoing effort to further prevent DWI in communities throughout New Mexico, The state’s Department of Finance and Administration has awarded $17.4 million in Local DWI Grant funds to New Mexico’s local governments.

Of the $17.4 million being awarded, Los Alamos County is slated to receive $61,000. Police Chief Wayne Torpy said the grants are ongoing and this is simply the next funding cycle.

“The DWI grant technically is pass-through money to local communities based on calculations for the express purpose of being used for the prevention of DWI in the local community,” he said.

According to a press release from the Department of Finance and Administration, these funds will be used by counties, cities and pueblos throughout the state for a wide range of activities including prevention, enforcement, alcohol-related domestic violence prevention, outpatient treatment and alternative sentencing.

Torpy said the funds are used in Los Alamos County for multiple things of which one part is enhanced enforcement of saturation patrols focusing specifically on DWI violations.

The press release further stated that local programs pledged an additional $6.6 million in matched funds, giving New Mexico a total of $24 million for local DWI program services next fiscal year.

“We had to apply for the funds and we did that six to eight weeks ago,” Torpy said. “The funding amount is rationed based on population. It’s fairly automatic, to not get the funds would be almost impossible,” he explained.

Most school districts provide alcohol prevention activities using Local DWI Grant funds including alcohol-free events and evidence-based curriculum, such as MADD’s Protecting You/Protecting Me program, according to the press release.

Of the $17.4 million awarded, approximately $6.9 million will be used for alcohol detoxification and treatment programs for jail-based and outpatient treatment.

The Department of Finance and Administration   administers the Local DWI Grant program and assisted the DWI Grant Council in reviewing funding applications.