New Mexico has tough DWI laws, including all-offender ignition interlock device (IID) requirements. Somehow, the laws aren’t enough get the message through to drivers – last year New Mexico’s rate of alcohol-related traffic fatalities increased. But the state is making efforts. One such effort shows promise and is literally within reach of anyone who has a mobile phone: #DWI
#DWI is the state’s answer to citizen participation in keeping drunk drivers off the roads. If someone is driving erratically, all you have to do is pull over to a safe place, dial #DWI on your phone, and give the operator information about the vehicle you saw. If you have a passenger, they can also call while you drive – just remember safety rules when it comes to using your mobile phone while driving and the safety precautions you need to take if you are driving near a suspected DWI driver.
New Mexico has increased its DWI prevention efforts over the years, including the #DWI program. The state also has a Twitter account that informs the public of a DWI offender’s court case, particularly if the judge was too lenient during sentencing.
The state’s ignition interlock program is one of the most effective in the country, too. The only problem with the program is that participation isn’t being enforced. Too many DWI offenders are just not installing an interlock and are driving illegally and possibly while intoxicated again.
Stopping a drunk driver can start with a simple phone call to alert authorities of the danger on the road. From there, we can all encourage judges to hand down the proper consequences for a DWI, and support more supervision of offenders who have current interlock requirements. Working together, we can make a difference and eliminate the possibility of any further DWI fatalities in New Mexico, and across the U.S.