Anti-DWI advocates expect to see an uptick in DWIs this summer

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — An off duty police officer who allegedly killed two people and gravely injured another person in a fatal DWI crash over the weekend will stay behind bars for now after facing a judge Monday.

That case was just one of many DWI-related incidents that occurred over the weekend, and some advocates believe they will only continue to increase.

“It’s incredibly heartbreaking to hear that this is happening in your own backyard,” said Lindsey Valdez, state executive director of New Mexico Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD).

The most recent crash happened near Coors and Gun Club Road Monday morning. According to the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office, two people died. BCSO also said alcohol may have been a factor.

The off-duty Cuba police officer from a suspected DWI crash that happened early Saturday morning was later identified as Brandon Roybal.

BCSO said Roybal, who’s pled guilty to DWI charges in the past, drove drunk into oncoming traffic on I-25 and killed two people. A third passenger is currently listed in grave condition.

“It’s incredibly disappointing when there’s an individual who’s in a position of authority or a leadership role in the community, we expect that every single person despite their circumstances and their political power or career choice, that everybody makes the decision to not drink and drive,” said Valdez.

MADD said there was a lull in DWI cases due to the pandemic. They’re also expecting to see an uptick in cases this summer.

“We are certainly anticipating an increase in injuries and fatalities due to impaired driving as we’re opening up, the weather is getting warmer—kind of the culmination of all of those factors. We’re going to see that people are going to be on the roadways more, they’re going out to restaurants and bars, spending more time with family,” Valdez said.

Valdez is asking people to think about the consequences of driving drunk, and to make a plan ahead of time.

“Those choices do have devastating consequences so really remember to plan ahead, especially with Cinco De Mayo coming up,” she said. “Really keep in mind that it’s not worth it for you, it’s not worth it for innocent people who are sharing the roadways with you.”