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July 27, 2015

DWI Suspect Involved in Fatal New Mexico Crash Free on Bond Awaiting Trial

A prominent New Mexico businessman was tragically killed while riding his bicycle in late July, and the man who is allegedly responsible is free on bail. According to a New Mexico news report, the 59-year-old businessman was riding his bike less than a mile away from his home.

drunk-driving-1469251.jpgEvidently, while the man was making his way home, a 25-year-old driver slammed into the businessman with his truck. The man was dragged over 100 feet. After officers arrived on the scene of the accident, they noticed that the truck driver was exhibiting signs of impairment. The police officers reported that the driver had watery, blood-shot eyes and smelled of alcohol. The driver admitted to officers that he had about three beers before striking the businessman.

The driver was given a field sobriety test but would not take a chemical test. He allegedly performed poorly on the sobriety test. The district attorney obtained a warrant to get a blood-draw from the driver. An investigation is still underway, but it seems that the driver was driving on the sidewalk when the accident occurred. Police are still determining where exactly the businessman was when the accident occurred. Unfortunately, the 59-year-old accident victim died at the hospital later that day.

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July 6, 2015

New Mexico Woman Arrested after Arriving at Husband's DUI Stop Drunk

In an ironic twist earlier last month, a New Mexico news source reported on a woman who was charged with DUI after arriving to her husband's DUI police stop. Law enforcement pulled over the woman's husband after he was spotted speeding near a local bar. After he was pulled over, the officer detected a strong smell of alcohol, and he began a DUI investigation.

colorful-cocktails-1411310-m.jpgA patron at the sports bar where the individual was pulled over called the driver's wife. The woman drove over to the location with her 11-year-old son in the car. When the woman arrived, the officers noted a smell of alcohol and questioned the woman about whether she had been drinking. The woman claimed she only had two glasses of wine. However, a breathalyzer test indicated that she had a blood alcohol content of .15.

The officers arrested both of the individuals on charges of driving while intoxicated. Fortunately, a family member was able to take custody of the young boy while his parents were taken away and booked. The woman was released pending a hearing a short time later. However, her husband was held in custody because this was his sixth DUI arrest and he was driving with a suspended license and expired registration.

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June 18, 2015

New Mexico Senator Attempting to Introduce Bill To Prevent Drunken Driving

Earlier this month, New Mexico State Senator Udall attempted to reintroduce a bill that was originally designed to prevent drunk driving. Back in 2008, several vehicle manufacturers and the federal government implemented the Driver Alcohol Detention System. This program was intended to enable researchers to develop a system that could prevent drunken individuals from starting their automobiles. After several years of research, it has been determined that there is a strong possibility that this idea will become a reality.

moralization---1-125242-m.jpgAccording to news reports, the project developers released a press release that they have begun producing prototypes of this device. They are currently in the stage of ensuring that the devices abide by all government regulations. The Senator, along with other representatives from various agencies, recently met to see the new technology. The Senator is in the process of reintroducing the bill to ensure that it has the appropriate amount of funding, approximately 12 million dollars over five years, to produce these devices.

Evidently, the device will be able to detect alcohol content on an individual's breath. Unlike other devices, which usually require the driver to breathe into tubes, this device will detect the breath in the car. It should be able to differentiate between the breath of a driver and that of a passenger. Alternatively, the device may be able to detect driver alcohol content by infrared light underneath the driver's fingertips.

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April 27, 2015

New Mexico Police Initially Believe Body in Wrecked Vehicle Was Previously Deceased; Later Found To Be a Victim of DUI Accident

Early last week, an individual was found dead after being involved in an accident. According to Albuquerque news reports, the individual was a passenger in a car that was fleeing the police.

by-a-beer-1174747-m.jpgEvidently, the driver of a Mazda was pulled over at a traffic stop when he fled the police. The driver sped away and only made it approximately one mile before he rammed into an SUV. When police apprehended the driver, they made a gruesome discovery. A deceased individual was in the car. Police initially believed that the individual was deceased before the accident. However, an autopsy revealed that was not the case. The driver was taken into custody, and the police identified the body as his mother's. The autopsy indicated that the woman was killed as a result of the injuries she sustained in the accident.

New Mexico State Police reported that the driver admitted to driving under the influence for most of the day. They have charged him with driving while a license is revoked, fleeing from an officer, fourth-offense DWI, and homicide by vehicle. The man has previously been arrested for driving while intoxicated and fleeing from the authorities.

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March 26, 2015

New Mexico Fatal Crash Caused by Fleeing Drunk Driver

Earlier this week a New Mexico resident was attempting to flee from the police when he was involved in an accident. According to Albuquerque news reports, the man was driving drunk late on March 23rd. Police officials noticed the drunk driver's car speeding on Interstate 40 and they attempted to pull the driver over. However, as the police got closer to the car the driver sped away. A witness explained that they saw the driver crash into a SUV around Quail Road and Coors Boulevard. The SUV was carrying a family, one member of the family died as a result of the crash.

553912-m.jpgThe witness recounted that they tried to stay with the family, and tried to calm down one of the young girls whose body was hanging outside of the car. When the police arrived the driver of the vehicle was declared dead at the scene of the accident. The three other individuals in the car sustained serious injuries and were taken to the emergency room.

The police reported that following the accident the drunk driver ripped off his clothes and attempted to run away. Fortunately, the police were able to apprehend him immediately. Currently, the driver is facing four charges of greatly injuring or killing someone with a vehicle in addition to his DWI charge. The driver stated to police that he did not care about going to jail, because he had been to jail previously.

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March 10, 2015

March of Sorrow for DWI Accident Victims Held in New Mexico

Every year in Santa Fe, New Mexico, new DWI bills are introduced, but not many of them actually make it to law. A recent news report in New Mexico discussed the influence that the group Mothers Against Drunk Drivers (MADD) has on legislators and the bills that make it into law. As the article notes, one way that MADD brings attention to DWI deaths is through the annual March of Sorrow. The DWI March of Sorrow remembers DWI accident victims and happens once every year. It is in its sixth consecutive year.

red-and-white-wine-bottles-279133-m.jpgOne local news report recounts an incident where a woman who was riding on a motorcycle was hit by a drunk driver. After some time, the woman discovered that the individual who ran a stop sign and hit her and her boyfriend was only 15 years old. Fortunately, the woman and her boyfriend were not killed in the accident. However, this is an anomaly, especially in cases where motorcycles are involved.

This particular woman called for stricter penalties and laws against repeat offenders. MADD agrees and has expressed its support in penalties that include a focus on treatment in addition to closing the loopholes that can lead to dismissal based on a technicality.

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February 25, 2015

Skateboarder Hit and Killed in Fatal DUI Accident in New Mexico

A 19-year-old skateboarder was hit and killed by a 47-year-old man who was suspected to be high at the time of the accident. According to local news reports, the driver was proceeding down Unser Boulevard when the accident occurred. A witness called police, and recordings reveal the witness exclaiming that the teenager was bleeding and that his head was split open.

skateboard-closeup-1-991204-m.jpgWhen police arrived at the scene of the accident, the driver admitted to being under the influence of several pharmaceutical drugs. When the officers attempted to test the man regarding his level of impairment, he was stumbling and unable to stand up straight. Currently, the man is facing charges ranging from leaving the scene of an accident to homicide by a vehicle.

Driving Under the Influence of Drugs in New Mexico

In New Mexico, it is against the law and a crime to drive if one is incapacitated by a drug. It does not matter whether the drug is illicit or legal. The law specifies that a person can be held culpable of driving while drugged if the influence of that drug makes the person incapable of operating their motor vehicle safely.

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February 3, 2015

Two University of New Mexico Students Die in Crash, One Driver Faces Criminal Charges

A November car crash resulted in the death of two University of New Mexico students and the hospitalization of two others. After several months of investigation, a 21-year-old man has been indicted for the accidents and charged with stealing a motor vehicle, tampering with evidence, larceny, child abuse, vehicular homicide because of DWI, and three counts of vehicular homicide because of reckless driving.

railings-908862-m.jpgAccording to a local news report, the driver and his passenger left the scene after causing the accident. They were eventually arrested shortly after the crash. The driver was tested, and it was determined that he had methamphetamines in his system. Police have indicated that the car the defendant was driving was stolen.

Unfortunately, two of the students died at the scene of the accident, and two other students were taken to a nearby hospital. One of the students who was taken to the hospital has been undergoing extensive physical therapy and is just now learning how to walk on his own again. The other student taken to the hospital has been recovering from a fractured sternum, a lacerated liver, and a serious head injury.

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January 26, 2015

Man Cited for 16th DUI in New Mexico

A Farmington, New Mexico man has been cited for his 16th DUI, and this time there were children in the car. According to a local news report, police indicated that the 30-year-old man was arrested for DUI after he hit a parked car. Apparently, police were called to the scene for a possible domestic violence situation, but when they arrived the man was no longer present. The officers were told that the man had left with his two children and that he was intoxicated.

colorful-cocktails-1411310-m.jpgWhile police officers attempted to find his vehicle, someone reported that they saw the car driving west on Main Street. Fortunately, police located the vehicle while it was stopped at a gas station near Bisiti Highway and Murray Drive. The officers were told that the man was repeatedly kicking and hitting the children in the car while he was driving intoxicated.

The officers did a DUI investigation and arrested the man, charging him with possession of drug paraphernalia, driving with a revoked license, failure to maintain traffic lanes, open container, two counts of child abuse, and DUI. While the man was having his blood drawn to determine his blood alcohol level, he attempted to escape police custody and was then charged with attempt to escape from custody. The man is currently being held on $200,000 bail.

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November 4, 2014

Drunk Driver Kills Motorcyclist in Her Second DUI in One Year

Earlier last month in a tragic accident in Albuquerque, a man was killed when a drunk driver ran a red light and struck him while he was riding his motorcycle. According to a report by one local news source, the woman had just started to go through court-ordered programs for an aggravated DUI charge she received last year.

vodka-russia-310547-m.jpgEvidently, on the night in question, she blew through a stop sign and crashed into the motorcyclist at near full speed. When police arrived and administered a breath test, she blew a .17, which is more than twice the legal limit for driving under the influence in New Mexico.

Aside from this current offense and her prior DUI, it seems as though these were the woman's only arrests. Her family told reporters that she had been doing well after her first DUI, and she had just started a new job when she was out celebrating. Apparently, a man punched her in the face while she was out, and she decided to leave as a result. It was on her way home that she hit and killed the motorcyclist.

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September 5, 2014

Alcohol Related Crash in Albuquerque Kills Woman and Baby, Injures 10-Year-Old

A tragic single-vehicle accident in Albuquerque earlier this summer resulted in the death of two passengers, a 30-year-old woman and a 1½-year-old baby, and severely injured the driver's 10-year-old child. The driver of the car, a 41-year-old, was treated at the hospital for minor injuries and booked into an Albuquerque jail in the early morning of July 27 on charges of vehicular homicide. CBS partner KRQE reported that police believe that both alcohol and speed were factors in the saddening crash, and the driver of the car could face serious jail time if convicted of the charges against him.

bar-1-774291-m.jpgDrunk Driving Endangers More than Only the Drunk Driver

This accident demonstrates the unfortunate reality that New Mexico drunk drivers are not only putting themselves at risk when they get behind the wheel, but also other people on the road as well as any passengers in their vehicles. Perhaps the most tragic part of this accident is that one of the children of the suspected drunk driver is now dead and another seriously injured as a result of his alleged conduct. These children were too young to decide for themselves whether it was safe to be on the road with their father driving, and it appears that he was not in a position to make the right decision that night either.

Drunk and Impaired Driving Laws in New Mexico

The New Mexico state legislature has passed laws against drunk driving in an attempt to reduce the number of New Mexico drunk driving injuries and deaths on the roads. If a driver is in control of a vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08% or higher, he or she is considered to be driving under the influence of alcohol.

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July 7, 2014

New Mexico State Police Officer Injured by Drunk Driver Late Last Month

A New Mexico State Police officer may feel lucky to be alive after being involved in a violent collision in Hobbes, New Mexico on June 29. The officer was in his vehicle on the side of Highway 62, performing a routine traffic stop just before 6:15 P.M., when a drunk driver smashed into the back of the officer's patrol car. According to one report, the car was nearly destroyed, and the officer was airlifted to a nearby hospital and admitted in critical condition. The vehicle that had been stopped by the police officer was also hit in the accident. The driver of that vehicle luckily only suffered minor injuries.
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New Mexico drunk driving accidents cause hundreds of injuries and deaths every year. In addition, Driving Under the Influence arrests are a leading cause of arrest in the state. In New Mexico, a driver is considered intoxicated if the concentration of alcohol in their bloodstream, or blood alcohol content (BAC), is .08% or higher. Drivers caught driving at or above this amount can be prosecuted for DUI. When a drunk driver causes an accident that results in property damage, injury, or death, he or she can face additional criminal charges, as well as civil liability for the damage caused.

Civil Liability for Drunk Driving Accidents

Victims of drunk driving accidents and their families often face significant expenses in the aftermath of an serious or fatal New Mexico drunk driving accident. Hospital expenses, funeral expenses, lost wages, and permanent injuries can financially cripple a victim, and drunk drivers can be held responsible for the damage that they cause. An accident victim or the affected family can file a New Mexico personal injury lawsuit against the drunk driver that caused the accident, and they may be able to recover damages in addition to any compensation offered by the insurance companies. The New Mexico legal system is designed to protect the victims of others' wrongdoing, and drunk drivers need to be held responsible for the damage that their dangerous conduct causes.

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June 26, 2014

New Mexico Jail Guard Resigns after Causing a Fatal Crash While Allegedly Driving Drunk

A detention officer at the Rio Arriba County Jail has resigned after he was involved in a crash that killed two New Mexico men last week. The jail employee, a 26-year-old man from El Rito, New Mexico, told witnesses and police that he had consumed between five and 12 beers in the hours leading up to the accident. The man was arrested on suspicion of vehicular homicide and has been released to house-arrest on a bond.

cerveja-1191066-m.jpgThe Accident

According to a report from Albuquerque ABC affiliate KOAT News, the man was driving on the wrong side of the road on U.S. 84 north of Espanola, New Mexico last Thursday when the crash occurred. Evidently, the corrections officer was off duty at the time of the crash and had not worked that day. After the collision that killed the occupants of the other car, two men aged 45 and 23, the jail employee admitted to police that he had had five beers before the accident occurred. Other witnesses report that, immediately after the accident, the man said that he had drunk 12 beers. Even after admitting to police that he had consumed alcohol, the man resisted a blood draw by authorities and was additionally charged with resisting an officer.

The Dangers of Driving While Intoxicated

It appears that this man's alcohol consumption played a large role in the cause of this tragic crash. In New Mexico, if a driver is found operating a vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of over .08%, he or she is considered to be driving under the influence and is subject to criminal charges. When a driver is involved in an accident and his or her intoxication appears to have played a role in the cause of the crash, the driver can be held criminally liable for any damage, injury, or deaths that occur from the accident. If someone is found guilty in a New Mexico drunk driving accident, they can be subject to severe criminal penalties and may find themselves behind bars for most, if not all, of their remaining years.

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April 19, 2014

Colorado Man Caught in New Mexico for Driving While Intoxicated for the Seventh Time

Earlier this week, a Colorado man was arrested in New Mexico for driving under the influence of alcohol. According to a report by KRQE, a police officer found an elk carcass in the road which aroused his suspicions. A few miles down the road, he found the man who they believe struck the animal. Police noticed that the man's breath smelled of alcohol and it was "very clear" that he was the one who had hit the animal.

night-life-2-1438557-2-m.jpgPolice arrested the man for driving under the influence, leaving the scene of an accident, and driving with a suspended license. Apparently this was the man's seventh drinking and driving offense.

Drinking and Driving is Taken Very Seriously in New Mexico

The above story is clearly an unusual circumstance, rarely do we see a driver with seven drinking while driving offenses. However, it is not rare to see a person with one or two of the offenses on their record. The State of New Mexico takes these offenses very seriously. In fact, even for a first time offender, a driver may face up to 90 days in jail, a $500 fine, and a year-long license suspension. For subsequent convictions, the jail time, fine, and duration of suspension increase dramatically. In some cases involving multiple offenses or serious bodily injury, jail sentences can be decades long.

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March 8, 2014

New Mexico Driver Collides With Another Vehicle and Crashes into a Light Pole, Killing One and Injuring Three

In a tragic accident last month, one woman was killed and three others were injured when their car clipped another vehicle and smashed head-on into a light pole. According to a report by a Fox affiliate KFOX15, the driver was speeding and drove through a red light at an intersection in Anthony, New Mexico, when he struck a car that was stopped at the traffic light and veered into a light pole. None of the occupants had their seat belts on, and the front seat passenger was ejected from the car and died on the scene. The other occupants were severely injured and airlifted to a hospital in El Paso, Texas.

According to the report, the car was speeding by at least 15 miles an hour when it entered the intersection, and there was no evidence that the driver applied the brakes before crashing. Police believe that the driver was drunk at the time, and that his intoxication played a role in the accident.

old-power-1306782-m.jpgDrunk, Negligent, and Reckless Driving in New Mexico

In New Mexico, drivers face various penalties for driving recklessly and causing injury, death or property damage. The driver from last month's accident can face criminal penalties for drunk or reckless driving, battery, and manslaughter. Additionally, the driver may be financially liable to the injured passengers and the family of the deceased woman. If the driver of the car had auto insurance, his insurance company could also be liable for damages. Accidents caused by drunk or reckless driving result in significant costs, and unfortunately the victims of these accidents can rarely afford the expense.

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