New Mexicans often read about a new drunk driving car accident in Albuquerque, Farmington, Las Cruces, or most any other New Mexico city every week. But, believe it or not, New Mexico was recently cited as a success story in the fight against drunk driving accidents. An out-of-state article focusing on drunk driving laws and ignition interlock devices cited a study that suggests New Mexico my be on the right track in fighting drunk driving car accidents.
The article, written by Vicki Ekstrom mentions that in 2005 New Mexico was the first state to require and ignition interlock devise for first DWI convictions. At the time, New Mexico ranked eighth in the nation for drunk driving fatalities. The following year, after the new legislation had been in place, New Mexico ranked 14th for the same statistic. Another national study found that ignition interlock devices reduce drunk driving by 45 to 90 percent.
I admit that it is hard to point at one particular piece of New Mexico legislation and suggest that it will save our state’s public, but by the same token, it is hard to ignore the fact that this may, in some way, be working. Victims of drunk driving accidents as well as New Mexico drunk driving lawyers are aware that while a huge amount of blame should fall on the drunk driver, it is also time for the state’s lawmakers to try other options. Fortunately that seems to be happening, and in the years to come, which this, as well as new legislation, New Mexico may continue to drop further down these undesirable statistics.