DWI Planning Council Meets Thursday April 23


Drinking too much alcohol increases people’s risk of injuries, violence, drowning, liver disease, and some types of cancer.

This April, during Alcohol Awareness Month, the Los Alamos DWI Planning Council encourages you to educate yourself and your loved ones about the dangers of drinking too much.

In New Mexico alone in 2013, there were 1955 alcohol-involved crashes of which resulted in 133 deaths. Additionally, one in six deaths among working age adults is attributable to alcohol in New Mexico. Unfortunately, New Mexico has one of the highest per capita costs of excessive alcohol use in the nation.

To spread the word and prevent alcohol abuse in our community, the Los Alamos DWI Planning Council is joining other organizations across the country to honor Alcohol Awareness Month.

The 1993 New Mexico Legislature enacted Laws of 1993, Chapter 65. A portion of the law created the Local DWI Grant Program Act, compiled as Sections 11-6A-1 through 11-6A-6, NMSA 1978, as amended. In part, this act established a local DWI program to make grants to municipalities or counties for programs, services or activities to prevent or reduce the incidence of DWI, alcoholism, alcohol abuse, drug addiction or drug abuse.

The overall mission of the Local Driving While Intoxicated Programs (LDWI) is to reduce the incidence of DWI, alcoholism, alcohol abuse and alcohol related domestic violence. The reduction in alcohol involved vehicle crash fatalities and serious alcohol involved vehicle crash injuries is due in part to the hard work of the County DWI Programs through a multipronged approach, in concert with the efforts of other agencies and organizations including the Department of Health, Department of Transportation,Traffic Safety Bureau, Human Services Division, MADD and local law enforcement agencies.

The state DWI grant fund is created by using a portion of the liquor excise tax revenues and is administered by the NM Department of Finance and Administration (DFA). In order to apply for, receive and spend this grant money, the Los Alamos County Council established the Los Alamos DWI Planning Council in 2004 as authorized by state law to serve as an advisory board.

The DWI Planning Council advises County Council on the county DWI plan and spending of DWI grant funds. In this fiscal year, LDWI distribution is $64,000 and reversion grant is just over $29,000. The monies are spent on seven components: prevention; enforcement, screening, treatment (outpatient and jail-based), compliance monitoring/tracking; coordination, planning and evaluation; and alternative sentencing including electronic monitoring.

Join us at 8:30 a.m. Thursday, April 23, in Council Chambers of the Municipal Building for a presentation by the New Mexico Department of Health Alcohol Epidemiologist, Dr. Laura Tomedi. Dr. Tomedi will be speaking on “Alcohol: Public Health and Policy.” Dr. Tomedi’s presentation will focus on how alcohol effects many facets of public health with particular emphasis on the statistics in Los Alamos County and what policies are working to reduce the excessive use of alcohol.

For more information, contact Linda Matteson, Los Alamos County DWI Coordinator, at 505.662.8241 or linda.matteson@lacnm.us.


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