New Mexico agencies increasing patrols this weekend for Near Year’s Eve
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — New Year’s Eve can be a fun holiday to celebrate with family and friends but it’s also notorious for people getting behind the wheel when they’ve had too much alcohol or marijuana. Several law enforcement agencies are trying to prevent that as we ring in the new year.
“It’s 100% preventable. These crimes affect people who aren’t involved in drunk driving,” said Katrina Latka, state executive director of Mothers Against Drunk Driving New Mexico.
Latka says it’s a crime that doesn’t have to happen.
“You weren’t the person who made that preventable choice. It happens to families, it happens to children, it happens to people who aren’t making that tragic decision to drink and get behind the wheel,” Latka said.
Several law enforcement agencies will have extra patrols and checkpoints set up across the state.
Officer Wilson Silver with State Police says the goal is to keep New Mexicans safe.
“A lot of people make New Year’s resolutions and one of ours is just to keep more people safe from impaired drivers. And that’s the goal of these checkpoints, that’s the goal of these saturation patrols,” Wilson said.
Albuquerque police will also have more patrols and checkpoints, but APD spokesperson Gilbert Gallegos told KOB 4 drunk driving is just one of the department’s concerns this weekend.
“What we see and are more concerned about, I think, is that shootings of guns in the indiscriminate shooting of guns, and especially downtown… So we’ll have a lot of officers both marked and undercover looking especially for gun crimes, they’ll be available as a quick reaction force if there’s something else happening,” Gallegos said.
Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Connor Otero says making their presence known also helps.
“When they hear that we’re out patrolling, looking for those intoxicated drivers, I think people tend to think about a little bit more, which they should at any time,” Otero said.
Bernalillo County is also trying to make the decision to not drink and drive easier. The county is offering free Uber rides. You can use the code ABQNYE23 to receive a credit of up to $10 off two trips. The credit doesn’t cover Uber Eats or a driver’s tip. Residents in Bernalillo and Sandoval counties can use the promotion.
The county says the “Take a Ride on Us” program is a partnership between Cumulus Media Albuquerque, Bernalillo County Department of Behavioral Health Services, Sandoval County DWI Prevention, Glasheen Valles and Inderman Injury Lawyers and the New Mexico Department of Transportation. Bernalillo County officials say it contributes $80,000 to this annual effort to curb driving under the influence.