NMDOT reports drunk-driving deaths down 20 percent from 2016

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Last year 175 people were killed in drunk driving crashes in the state. So far this year, the New Mexico Department of Transportation reports that number is down nearly 20-percent.

In December 2015, Governor Susana Martinez introduced a handful of executive initiatives that aimed to help crack down on the problem.

“We’ve had some high-visibility enforcement throughout the year,” Deputy Secretary Loren Hatch said. “A court monitoring program where we actually follow what’s going on in the courtrooms. Making sure that they’re following through with prosecutions. We’ve also been out getting absconders, people who have skipped out on warrants.”

All this, yet numbers show 175 people lost their lives in alcohol-related crashes in 2016, compared to the 120 people who died in 2015.

But this year, Hatch said it appears New Mexico is back on the decline.

“So far it’s been 56 fatalities compared to 69 last year at this time,” Hatch said.

Counties like San Juan and Santa Fe have reported eight alcohol-related fatalities. Bernalillo and McKinley counties have seven. But there is still another six months to go.

“Preliminary data this year is showing a 20 percent reduction in alcohol-related fatalities. It’s something to be optimistic about, but the year is not over yet and we have a tough summer ahead of us,” Hatch said.

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