Superblitz to Crackdown on Impaired Driving

SANTA FE— New Mexico Department of Transportation Secretary Alvin C. Dominguez, New Mexico State Police Chief Robert Shilling and Santa Fe Mayor David Coss were joined today by representatives from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), and other state and local officials to kick off the state’s latest Superblitz to coincide with the national crackdown on impaired driving, themed “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.”

The Superblitz will run from August 19 through Labor Day, September 5 and will correspond with the nationwide enforcement effort to crackdown on impaired driving and reduce roadway fatalities. The campaign will target young male drivers and motorcycle riders, who are the most common perpetrators of this deadly crime.

In 2009, more than 10,000 people were killed in U.S. highway crashes involving a driver or motorcycle rider with an illegal blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08 or higher, according to NHTSA statistics. That same year, 8,976 people between the ages of 21 and 34 were killed in motor vehicle crashes, 47 percent (4,206) were killed in alcohol-impaired crashes.
“New Mexico has come a long way in its fight against drunken driving, from one of the leading offenders of DWI in the nation to making its way out of the top 10 states for alcohol-related fatalities,” Transportation Secretary Alvin Dominguez said. “As the last few weeks of the Safe Summer Project come to an end, we want to amp up our efforts,
reminding drivers—whether in a car or on a motorcycle—that drinking and driving/riding will not be tolerated.”
In May state and local officials kicked off the Safe Summer Project that includes various traffic safety-related enforcement programs such as the 100 Days and Nights of Summer campaign, Click it or Ticket, Operation Buckle Down, Operation DWI, Officer Every 15 Miles, Get Your Clicks on Route 66 and others.

From June 1 through July 31, the state has held 120 sobriety checkpoints and 435 saturation patrols netting a total of 33,782 arrests and citations. A preliminary breakdown is as follows:
DWI                                                    370
Suspended revoked licenses             794
Speeding                                        11,596
Seat belt violations                           4,403
Child restraint violations                      502
Fugitives Apprehended                       302
Stolen Vehicles Recovered                    4

In addition to increased law enforcement efforts, the NMDOT will place radio and television ads to increase motorcycle awareness. The advertisements, “Always look for motorcycles. It’s their road, too.” will feature the perspectives of both a driver and motorcyclist, and the consequences of not sharing the road.