New Mexico Initiatives to Reduce Driving While Intoxicated and Educate Children About the Risks

alcoholic beveragesDrinking while intoxicated by alcohol reduces the ability of a driver to control a moving vehicle and judge distances, speeds, and movements of other vehicles on the road.

Under New Mexico’s DWI laws, it is illegal for drivers who are 21 years old and older to drive with a breath or blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 or more. The limit is 0.02 for drivers under 21 years of age and 0.04 for drivers of commercial vehicles.  Drivers whose breath or blood tests show they are driving with alcohol levels in their bodies above the legal limit, or drivers who refuse to take a breath or blood test, can lose their licenses to drive, in most cases for a period of over one year.  In New Mexico, a person can also be convicted of DWI in instances in which breath or blood tests show alcohol levels below the legal limit, but the ability to drive is impaired by drugs or alcohol.  People driving while intoxicated also risk heavy fines, increased insurance rates, and jail sentences.  Still, unfortunately, people drink and drive, causing many New Mexico drunk driving accidents.

A program at the Department of Transportation has resulted in a new free smartphone app called Zero Proof to offer children tips on how to avoid underage drinking and handle drunk people whom they encounter.

The Las Cruces Sun-News reports that the app was recently announced by Governor Susana Martinez at a news conference at the Boys & Girls Club of Albuquerque’s after-school program. The app is available in the Apple App Store and Google Play, and there are accompanying websites.

Education offered through the app is helpful because it can alert children to the dangers of getting into a vehicle with a driver who is intoxicated, and it can assist in developing a plan of action for what to do if they are presented with the situation.  Drinking alcohol can be a very difficult issue for parents to broach with children, especially for parents who drink alcohol.  These conversations are important to have because underage drinking is different insofar as the brains of children are still developing, and the habits that they develop as young adults can have a profound effect on their adulthood.

A website for teens and tweens can be found online at www.zeroproof.me. The website features advice and Choose Your Own Adventure-style stories of youth facing challenging situations.

Drunk driving can result in fatalities and serious injuries for drivers, passengers, pedestrians, and others affected by a driver’s decision to get behind the wheel under the influence of alcohol.  The New Mexico MVD cautions that alcohol is involved in 40% of the traffic crashes in which someone is killed.

Following a New Mexico car accident caused by a driver who is under the influence of alcohol or drugs, you or a loved one may be entitled to financial compensation, including in some cases punitive damages.  An award of monetary damages can assist people who are injured and their families with medical costs, lost wages, and pain and suffering caused by the DWI accident.  To understand more about your case, call New Mexico drunk driving accident lawyer Matthew Vance at the Law Office of Matthew Vance, P.C.  We provide a free consultation and can be reached at (505) 242-6267 or online.

More Blog Posts:

Distracted Driving and Text Ban in New Mexico

New Mexico Law Would Bar the Sale of Alcohol to Repeat DWI Offenders