House bill calls for stiffer penalties on repeat DWI convictions

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Posted: Monday, February 3, 2014 8:00 pm | Updated: 1:05 pm, Tue Feb 4, 2014.

Repeat drunken-driving offenders would face stiffer penalties under a bill that passed the House Judiciary Committee on Monday.

House Bill 175, which was approved by a 9-7 vote, would increase prison sentences for fourth and subsequent DWI offenses and make eight or more offenses a second-degree felony.

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  • Mark Ordonez posted at 12:41 pm on Tue, Feb 4, 2014.

    marcoordonez Posts: 661

    I've always said a 1st time conviction could be death by hanging but with our asleep at the wheel DA's office and Judges like David Segura, Sandra Miera, George Anaya Jr. Buzzy Padilla, Bill Dimas (previously) and those at the 1st Judicial Dist. court what does it matter what the penalty is? A plea will be offered, a case dismissed, a finger will be wagged, a sentence suspended, and voila', another drunk free to terrorize our citizens.
    BUT we can hope that stiffer "mandatory" sentences are around the corner. Apparently the our Judges need some assistance with public safety.
    I do wish reporter, Mr. Quintana listed the 7 Reps on the Judiciary committee that voted against HB 175.

  • Jeff Vigil posted at 10:34 am on Tue, Feb 4, 2014.

    Racer434 Posts: 7

    It is time to make the Drunk Drivers pay for their crimes. If they can afford to got out and drink, then they should have the money to pay for their incarceration. Bring back the chain gangs and make them work on the road ways, Have more of them out doors picking up trash and get them doing something productive. Maybe if their relatives and friends see them, they may think twice about drinking and driving. If this doesn't stop them then make the penalties very harsh. First time offender 90 days in jail period. No getting out, no pleading for a suspended sentence. Sometimes the hard way is the only way to reach people and get them to wake up.

  • lp1974 posted at 9:48 am on Tue, Feb 4, 2014.

    lp1974 Posts: 1

    I think a greater concern would be the plea barganing with DWI cases. If this law is passed, the DA's office will only plead more cases down to a lower offense DWI. Too many times, a person arrested for a multiple DWI offense (like the 5th), is plead down to a second or thrid DWI for the second or third time. I think, since this is the common practice, it would make more sense to stiffen penalties for lower level DWI cases, so the perpetrator isn't given so many chances to continue this behavior and possibly kill someone.

  • Emanuele Corso posted at 6:05 am on Tue, Feb 4, 2014.

    ecorso Posts: 12

    "But Ousama Rasheed, past president the New Mexico Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, cited financial concerns associated with holding drunken drivers in prison for longer periods."
    Leave it to a lawyer to argue against locking up repeat offenders. What does doing nothing cost? And what about the emotional costs to survivors of drunk drivers. Drunk driving is volitional not accidental. A person chooses to drive drunk and they know it is not only illegal but dangerous - in fact, they choose to endanger themselves and others. Wake up Mr. Rasheed.


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