New Mexico police plan seat belt, DWI crackdown

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Law enforcement is launching a summer campaign to crack down on drunken drivers and motorists not wearing seat belts.

Gov. Susana Martinez and other officials announced the enforcement blitz Thursday as New Mexicans prepared for the Memorial Day weekend that starts the summer travel season.

Police plan increased patrols to look for drivers and passengers without seatbelts. There will be checkpoints to catch drunken drivers.

Transportation Department figures show 81 people have died in road accidents from January through April, with 36 of those deaths involving alcohol.

There were 374 people killed in traffic crashes last year, an increase of more than 6 percent from 2011. About two-fifths of the crash victims weren't wearing seat belts.

Alcohol was involved in 41 percent of the state's highway fatalities last year.