NM sees decrease in deadly DWI crashes

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – Governor Susana Martinez announced Tuesday significant numbers from last year that show that New Mexico is making progress in the fight against drunk driving.

The state chose the Isleta Amphitheater for a press conference Tuesday, because of an initiative this concert season called Sober Zone. The initiative aims to promote sober driving after concerts.

While drunk driving fatalities were at an all-time low in last year, there is still work to be done.

In 2013, 133 people in nm died in alcohol related crashes. A decade ago, 214 people died in DWI crashes, making it a 38 percent decrease.

From 2012 to 2013, alcohol involved fatalities dropped by nearly 14 percent.

The state attributes the decrease to DWI task forces; increased manpower and patrols by law enforcement in certain areas. Also, they attributed it to the work by other non-governmental agencies, like MADD, and pushes using social media.

Governor Martinez says there’s still a long way to go.

“The work is paying off. They’re working to reduce alcohol related fatalities. We won’t stop and we will not back off. We have to continue to work hard,” Governor Martinez said.

Sunday is St. Patrick’s Day. Law enforcement says drivers should expect to see them out this weekend, cracking down on impaired driving.

Authorities say distracted drivers also pose a big threat on the highway. The legislature did recently pass a ban on texting while driving, making New Mexico the 42nd state to ban the practice.

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