Rep. Stephanie Garcia Richard
NM HOUSE News:
- House Bill 10a targets repeat drunk drivers
SANTA FE—Bi-partisan legislation that would target repeat drunk drivers passed the House of Representatives Monday by a vote of 51-5.
House Bill 10a (DWI Sentencing and Interlocks), sponsored by Rep. Stephanie Garcia Richard, D-Los Alamos, Sandoval, Rio Arriba, Santa Fe, Rep. Elizabeth “Liz” Thomson, D-Bernalillo, and Rep. Tim Lewis, R-Sandoval closes some serious loopholes in current law, prevents repeat drunk drivers from returning to the streets, and increases the penalties for repeat offenders.
“I am elated I was given the opportunity to revive this important piece of legislation last week in the Transportation Committee and grateful that my fellow members passed the bill today on the House floor,” Garcia Richard said. “HB 10a is designed to stop habitual DWI offenders and close the breathalyzer loophole in our current laws. This bill is important because it will aid in decreasing DWI offenses, hold habitual offenders accountable – and more importantly help save lives.”
“Passing HB 10a today takes an important step forward in ending senseless drunk driving crashes, injuries and deaths,” Thomson said. “There is always more work to be done, but I feel confident we are gaining ground on this longstanding problem. I want to thank my co sponsors, Representatives Garcia-Richard and Lewis.”
House Bill 10a has three major components:
- Requires clean blows into the ignition interlock during the last six months of an offender’s sentence before a driver’s license is reinstated. The driver must also introduce evidence of at least one interlock test during each of 24 weeks during the six months.
- Provides stiffer sentences for repeat offenders – basic sentences (for subsequent felony DWI convictions) are increased by one year (for a second felony), four years (for a third felony) and eight years (for a fourth or subsequent felony).
- Requires and allows for a GPS monitoring system and a breathalyzer for those under house arrest.
Garcia Richard, Thomson and Lewis were recently recognized by Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) as Legislative Champions. They sponsored similar DWI prevention legislation last year. It passed the House, but was not put to a vote in the Senate because time ran out.
House Bill 10a now goes to the Senate for consideration: House Bill 10