Does New Mexico Need an 8-Hour Alcohol Awareness Class?

by: Mike Miller

There is not a state in the country that is not suffering from the vices of drug and alcohol addiction. One of the state’s that has received the most attention is New Mexico. Of course having one of the top rated television shows, “Breaking Bad,” a show about crystal meth, set in the state, doesn’t help.

For years, New Mexico has had one of the highest rates of alcohol-related traffic deaths in the nation. The state has tried to make the state’s highways and rural roads safer, usually spurred by the latest horrific accident. As reported in

The most recent idea would forbid many people convicted of drunken driving from buying alcohol anywhere — stores, restaurants or bars. If it passes, it would be among the most restrictive drunken-driving laws in the nation.

Believe it or not, but New Mexico already has some of the most stringent DUI penalties in the country. Under New Mexico law, people convicted of drunken driving are required to install ignition interlock devices in their vehicles, typically for one year for a first offense. Drivers have to breathe into the device to start the ignition, and it does not allow the car to start if it detects a threshold level of alcohol on the driver’s breath.

I think these are great efforts, and combined with New Mexico alcohol classes should help in the fight against DUI.