SANTA FE ― Legislation sponsored by Rep. Jim Dines allowing judges to impose stricter penalties on DWI felons passed the House Safety and Civil Affairs Committee today by a vote of 5-2.
The bill, HB 82, would expand New Mexico’s Habitual Offender law to include DWI felonies.
“Four or more DWI convictions ought to qualify an individual as a habitual offender,” Dines said. “This bill closes a gap in the existing law so DWI felony offenses can be considered for enhanced sentencing under the Habitual Offender statute. Fixing the law will keep repeat drunk drivers off of the roads and protect New Mexico’s families.”
A DWI offense can be deemed a felony after the fourth conviction. Currently, individuals convicted of a DWI felony are exempted from the stricter penalties provided for in the Habitual Offender law. The legislation sponsored by Dines would make repeat drunk drivers eligible for sentencing under the Habitual Offender law.