New Mexico State Police to increase checkpoints, patrols through summer

State sees decrease in alcohol-related crashes in 2018

By John Miller
jmiller@taosnews.com
Posted 4/17/19

According to a press release from the state police, officers will be engaged in several traffic enforcement operations  in "April, May and Summer Months of 2019." …

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New Mexico State Police to increase checkpoints, patrols through summer

State sees decrease in alcohol-related crashes in 2018

Posted

New Mexico State Police will be ramping up patrols and sobriety checkpoints across the state in 2019 as part of an aggressive effort to enforce traffic laws and drive down the number of crash-related fatalities in the state.

According to a press release from the state police, officers will be engaged in several traffic enforcement operations  in "April, May and Summer Months of 2019."

If stopped at a sobriety checkpoint, drivers will be required to comply with orders from officers who will be looking for signs that they may be under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Drivers may be required to take various sobriety tests, including field sobriety tests (standing on one leg, the walk-and-turn, etc.), blowing into a breathalyzer or submitting to a blood test.

If a driver refuses to take a test ordered by an officer, they may be charged with a crime, including aggravated DWI if an officer finds probable cause that a driver is under the influence.

Officers will also be strictly enforcing speed limits, seat belt and child restraint laws, focusing on roadways where crashes tend to be most prevalant, according to data from the New Mexico Department of Transportation.

While roadway deaths in New Mexico increased from 380 in 2017 to 391  in 2018, the number of crashes related to drunk driving decreased from 147 in 2017 to 125 in 2018.

Nine people died on roads in Taos County in 2018, with four that involved alcohol, according to NMDOT.

So far this year, 104 people have died on New Mexico roadways, a significant increase over the 77 deaths recorded at the same time last year.

State police carried out similar traffic enforcement operations every month in 2018 in an effort to continue to drive these numbers down.

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