Gov. Susana Martinez
ALBUQUERQUE — Gov. Susana Martinez has presented the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office with a brand-new mobile DWI unit, equipped with breath-testing stations and drunk tanks. In addition, she announced results of multiple recent drunk driving crackdowns that led to 160 DWI arrests.
“I’m proud to hand over the keys to this brand-new, high-tech DWI mobile unit. It’s the best of the best and will help Bernalillo County combat drunk driving more quickly and effectively,” Martinez said. “I’m grateful for our officers who are out on the road every day protecting us from drunk drivers. This is yet another tool that will aid them in their efforts to keep us safe.”
The mobile DWI unit is 40 feet long and holds two breath-test stations, a bathroom, a booking station and a drunk tank that can hold 10 DWI offenders. The mobile center eliminates the need for officers to travel back and forth to the station each time a suspect is arrested allowing for a more efficient checkpoint operation.
Bernalillo County has the highest rate of alcohol-related traffic fatalities in the state. So far this year, there have been more than 30 alcohol-related traffic fatalities in Bernalillo County. In 2015, the County saw 35 alcohol related traffic fatalities and 705 alcohol-involved crashes.
“This new mobile unit will help keep drunk drivers off the street and protect our families by giving officers more time to look for drunk drivers and less time processing them at DWI checkpoints,” said New Mexico Department of Transportation Deputy Secretary Loren Hatch. “This tool helps make our roads safer, which is directly in line with NMDOT’s core values.”
Martinez also announced results of recent DWI crackdowns, with a total of 530 arrests – including more than 160 for DWI. Over the Labor Day weekend, law enforcement made 225 DWI, misdemeanor, felony and drug arrests. Through the 100 Days and Nights of Summer crackdown Martinez announced earlier this year, law enforcement made 305 arrests, including 48 for DWI.
Martinez continues to make fighting DWI a priority. Earlier this year, she signed legislation that increased DWI penalties to some of the toughest in the region and also has launched a series of executive initiatives aimed at fighting DWI, including: targeting repeat offenders and the establishments that over-serve them; a court monitoring program that placed citizens inside courtrooms in six counties across the state to shed light on how DWI cases are handled; and an ongoing roundup of DWI fugitives.