New Mexico police to watch for drunken drivers

New Mexico State Police

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) – New Mexico state police officers are planning a series of sobriety checkpoints around the state.

Officials say the checkpoints and advertising highlighting the state’s enforcement efforts are aimed at reducing alcohol-related fatalities.

Data from the state Transportation Department and the University of New Mexico shows 113 people have died in alcohol-related crashes in the first four months of 2017. That’s less than the first quarter the previous year.

In 2016, a total of 175 people died in alcohol-related crashes. That accounted for more than 40 percent of New Mexico’s traffic fatalities last year.

Officials say New Mexico’s alcohol-related death rate has consistently been nearly twice the national rate for the past two decades.

State Police say they’ll also be checking driver’s licenses and reviewing vehicle registrations and insurance during June’s checkpoints.

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