DWI bill: Five strikes and you're out

SANTA FE (KRQE) — Five strikes and you're out.

That's the simplest way to describe what Sen. George Munoz's, D-Gallup, bill does to drunk drivers.

Under current New Mexico law, anyone convicted of driving drunk four or more times has their license taken away indefinitely, although they can get it back as soon as five years later. Under Munoz's bill, DWI conviction number five would mean that driver loses his state license for life, even if some of those convictions were in other states.

"We have to draw a line in the sand," Munoz said.

In New Mexico, driving with a revoked or suspended license is a misdemeanor that could cost the driver up to a year in jail. Those whose licenses were suspended for violating the Implied Consent Act  by refusing to take a breath or blood test or for driving drunk have to spend a minimum of a week in jail.

"I think it would help, but I don't think it would make a huge difference in our DWI death and injury [numbers] but it could nudge it a little bit in the right direction,” Linda Atkinson, executive director of the DWI Resource Center said.  "If it were at a third offense it would be even stronger."

Munoz's bill is waiting for a hearing in the Senate Public Affairs Committee.


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New Mexico (change)

New Mexico is located in the southwestern region of the U.S. Inhabited by Native American populations for many centuries, New Mexico has also been part of Imperial Spain, part of Mexico, and a U.S. territory.
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Governor: Susana Martinez
Lieutenant Governor: John Sanchez
Attorney General: Gary King
Secretary of State: Dianna J. Durán

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