KOB news reporter, Joe Vigil, recently covered a remarkable New Mexico drunk driving story about an Albuquerque man who has been arrested 24 times for DWI. At one point, the seasoned drunk driver would encourage his friends to go drive drunk around Albuquerque just to see if they could beat the charges. Despite his lengthy arrest record, 18 of his 24 cases were thrown out of court, and of the remaining six he would generally have to serve just 10 days in jail.
At the close of the story, the man says that he has changed his life and is now clean and sober going on 11 years. He also states that he hopes his story will encourage others to stop drinking and driving.
Yeah, I’m going to have to say that this may not be the best story to tell New Mexico’s drunk driving population. I truly don’t mean to offend the drunk driver, but I’m going on record as saying this is a bad story share with those thinking of drinking and driving in Albuquerque. I believe it would likely have the opposite effect, suggesting to many that New Mexico drunk driving accidents are not taken seriously, and drunk driving violations are beatable. Worst-case scenario, if you are hit with a drunk driving charge this story would suggest that it is a mere slap on the wrist.
How about instead we focus on the “scared straight” stories, to help with the New Mexico drunk driving epidemic. Lets instead tell stories involving serious punishments for first-time offense, or life-changing mistakes involving New Mexico alcohol-related accidents.
It is certainly wonderful that a hard-core alcoholic can turn his life around, and that is a story worth applauding and being told to many people, however, I suggest leaving out all those details about how easy it is to overcome DWI charges in New Mexico.