LAS CRUCES — Today, Gov. Susana Martinez presented the Dona Ana County Sheriff’s Office with a brand-new mobile DWI unit, equipped with breath-testing stations and drunk tanks that will help DWI checkpoints run more efficiently.
“This new, high-tech DWI mobile unit will help checkpoints run more quickly and effectively, helping Dona Ana combat drunk driving,” Martinez said. “It’s another tool to help our officers who are on the roads keeping us safe. I cannot thank our brave officers enough for the work they do.”
The mobile DWI unit is 40 feet long and holds two breath-test stations, a bathroom, a booking station and a holding cell 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.
Last year, there were 10 alcohol-related fatalities in Dona Ana County. So far this year, there has been one alcohol-related traffic fatalities in Dona Ana County.
According to preliminary data, this year there have been 72 alcohol-involved fatalities statewide compared to 102 last year at the same time – a 29 percent decrease.
“This is a valuable tool that can help make our roads safer,” NMDOT’s Modal Divisions Director Mike Sandoval said. “We are proud to work with law enforcement across the state to fight DWI as we work to save lives on our roads and highways.”
Martinez has made fighting DWI a priority in her administration. In 2016, Martinez enacted legislation that increased penalties against drunk drivers to some of the toughest in the region. The administration has also launched a campaign aimed to stop servers and establishments from over-serving alcohol. In addition to the crackdown on DWI offender absconders, Martinez also announced a court monitoring program that placed citizens inside courtrooms in six counties to shed light on how DWI cases are handled.