ALBUQUERQUE — Gov. Susana Martinez has announced that an RFP has been awarded to Mothers Against Drunk Driving for an initiative that will place monitors in certain courtrooms across the state to watch the DWI adjudication process and provide information to the public about how those cases are being handled.
The monitors will attend DWI hearings in person and compile reports on how judges and others involved in the legal process are dealing with drunk drivers. The program is part of the Governor’s executive initiatives to fight DWI.
“Too many lives have been shattered by drunk drivers, and too often our justice system fails our families by going easy on the criminals,” Martinez said. “By shining a light on our courtrooms, New Mexicans can see first-hand how DWI cases are being handled.”
MADD, which was awarded a two-year $800,000 contract, will place New Mexicans in courtrooms in Bernalillo, Dona Ana, McKinley, Rio Arriba, and San Juan Counties. The monitors will also provide details about DWI case outcomes, which will then be posted to social media for the public to view.
“MADD is looking forward to helping to put more New Mexicans on the front lines in the war against drunk driving,” MADD State Executive Director Aisha Smith said. “This program will help ensure the public knows how DWI is handled in courts, as well as that courts know the public is watching.”
The court monitoring program is one of the executive initiatives to combat DWI that Martinez rolled out last year. The others include: saturation patrols on our deadliest highways; targeting repeat offenders and the establishments that over-serve them; and an ongoing roundup of DWI fugitives.
In addition, Martinez rolled out a series of television ads last year featuring New Mexico State Police officers sharing their personal stories of coming face-to-face with the real and horrible consequences of drunk driving. To view these new ads, visit www.endwi.com.
“My officers see it all the time: the same person they arrested for DWI right back in handcuffs or involved in an alcohol-related crash,” State Police Chief Pete Kassetas said. “We’ve targeted repeat DWI offenders through warrant roundups, DWI absconder roundups and directed DWI patrols, and court monitoring is another tool to ensure that offenders are being held accountable.”