New Mexico May Soon See Tougher DWI Laws

Gov. Susana Martinez’s office met with a young Colorado couple whose unborn son was killed in a drunk driving accident. The couple are working with the Governor’s office in hopes that the Legislature will pass Dimitri’s Law, a bill named after their son, which seeks to make the penalties for first and second DWI convictions much harsher.

The potential bill began when more than 2,700 people signed the Justice for Dimitri Petition which has signatures from people across the nation. At the next legislative session, Zach and Aileen Smith, Dimitri’s parents, will present the petition and the bill to New Mexico lawmakers. The Smiths say that penalties need to be tough on first and second DWIs, not on the fourth and eighth DWI.

The Smiths believe that a first DWI conviction should result in the driver’s vehicle being impounded, and that it stay impounded until an interlock device is installed on the vehicle. Even though New Mexico is one of a handful of states in the nation that require an ignition interlock device for a first DWI offense, some believe that this requirement is not being monitored or enforced appropriately.