New Mexico has no tolerance for driving while intoxicated (DWI). Over the past few years drunk drivers in New Mexico have been penalized harshly thanks to strict drunk driving laws, and now the state wants to put judges in hot seat too.
New Mexico state officials have launched a program where they will pay Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) to monitor drunk driving cases in five New Mexico counties with the biggest drunk driving problems. MADD will attend the trail, record the details on the sentences given, and report back to the state. The state will then identify repeat offenders and judges in a series of tweets shared on social media.
Why target judges? The governor of New Mexico, Susana Martinez, feels as though judges aren’t cracking down on drunk drivers in New Mexico with repeat DWI violations. She doesn’t want judges to let anyone off easy, and by keeping eyes and ears in the courtrooms, the state can hold judges accountable.
Drunk drivers in New Mexico aren’t the only offenders being monitored by MADD. The organization provides court monitoring service for other states, and in exchange for their time and attention, MADD New Mexico has been given a two-year contract worth $800,000. MADD provides support to anyone who has lost someone to drunk driving or has been injured in a drunk driving crash, and that money can go a long way to supporting victims and victims families.
Not everyone thinks targeting judges is a good idea. Opponents of the program have stated that its unethical to target judges and that it puts pressure on them to hand out a harsh sentence no matter what the circumstances.
But a program like this is a great way to get the profiles of repeat offenders out there, and it could be an important step in enforcing New Mexico DWI penalties and stopping repeat offenders from making the choice to drink and drive again.