Our View: Governor announces new DWI initiatives

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By The Staff

Last week, Gov. Richardson announced several new DWI initiatives as part of the 100 Days and Nights of Summer campaign to prevent drunk driving.

While we laud the governor’s efforts, it must be remembered that there are some very good anti-DWI laws already on the books – we only need to get our judges to enforce them better.

The governor is strengthening the popular DrunkBusters program that warns every owner of a vehicle reported by vigilant motorists as potential DWI violators. The governor also kicked off a new Superblitz campaign and unveiled a new TV ad to highlight the consequences of drunk driving during the holiday weekend.

“We’re attacking DWI head-on with a comprehensive effort to keep drunk drivers off of our roads, and to punish those who ignore our warnings,” Richardson said.

Among new DrunkBusters Initiatives unveiled is a new pilot program and the potential expansion of DrunkBusters. The Department of Public Safety will send courtesy letters to registered owners of vehicles reported to the State’s DWI DrunkBusters hotline.

The goal of the DrunkBusters letter is to advise owners that their vehicle was reported driving erratically or in a dangerous manner. The letters will detail the time, date and location of the reported incident.

We are not too sure that this will do any good – except use more taxpayer money on postage and such.

The only way to stop drunk drivers is to stop them, arrest them and then have our judges apply the law.

And it is a scary fact that Public Safety expects to send out approximately 16,000 letters annually, based on the number of calls received in 2007.

And when you consider that almost daily you hear of a multiple offender being arrested, you begin to understand the problem we have in New Mexico.

The governor is right to move against this scourge. But this should only be the beginning of a hard campaign to finally make some progress.