Comprehensive DWI Bill Tabled in Committee

STATE News:

Bill tabled on same day its sponsors are being honored as DWI “Legislative Champions”

SANTA FE–Efforts to stop drunk driving and protect the rights of victims suffered a huge blow in the House Transportation and Public Works Committee Thursday. House Bill 10, a comprehensive bipartisan package to target repeat drunk drivers, was tabled in committee.

The action comes on the same day the bill’s sponsors were being honored by Mothers Against Drunk Driving MADD, and the Rotunda was filled with DWI Prevention displays to bring awareness of the dangers of drunk driving.

House Bill 10 has three major components:

  • requiring clean blows into the ignition interlocks during the last six months of an offender’s sentence;
  • stiffer sentences for repeat offenders; and
  • and requiring and allowing breathalyzers for those under house arrest.

Sponsors of the bill, Rep. Elizabeth “Liz” Thomson, D-Bernalillo, Rep. Stephanie Garcia Richard, D-Los Alamos, Sandoval, Rio Arriba, Santa Fe and Rep. Tim Lewis, R-Sandoval, as well as Speaker W. Ken Martinez, D-Bernalillo, Cibola, McKinley, Socorro, San Juan, Valencia, were given MADD’s “Legislative Champions” award.

“We heard the committee’s concerns regarding treatment and rehab,” Garcia Richard said. “But we feel there is urgency to this bill to close some of the loopholes that exist in current law. This is a huge disappointment.”

“I’m extremely disappointed the bill didn’t go through,” Thomson said. “This is legislation that has been scrutinized and passed the House last year on a vote of 67-0. Our goal is to prevent more people from being injured or killed at the hands of someone who has been drinking and driving.”

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