Udall: $1.1 Million to Fight Drunk Driving on N.M. Roads
WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Tom Udall (D-NM) today announced that the New Mexico Department of Transportation will receive $1.1 million to support programs that aim to reduce drunk driving.
The $1,100,126 grant is part of an incentive program by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, encouraging states to enact and enforce laws and implement programs to combat drunk driving.
"It was not too long ago that New Mexico ranked first in the nation in alcohol related fatalities. Since then, we've tackled the problem head-on, implementing sound policies that combat drunk driving and becoming a model for the country." Udall, member of the Commerce, Science and Transportation said. "This funding will help New Mexico sustain this progress and keep drunk drivers off our roads."
As New Mexico's Attorney General, Udall made fighting DWI a priority and worked with the legislature to enact tougher laws against offenders. In both the U.S. House and Senate, Udall has championed efforts to increase enforcement, improve public awareness and build on proven methods to combat DWI, like ignition interlocks and the implementation of emerging technologies.
In February of this year, Udall joined Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) to introduce a bill that would mandate that states require an ignition interlock for a minimum of six months for all drunk driving offenders.
In March, Udall introduced The Research of Alcohol Detection Systems for Stopping Alcohol-related Fatalities Everywhere, or ROADS SAFE Act, which would authorize $12 million out of existing annual funding for five years for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's (NHTSA) Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety (DADSS) program. The funds would be used to explore the feasibility, potential benefits and public policy challenges associated with using in-vehicle technology to prevent drunk driving.
Both measures are supported by Mothers Against Drunk Driving and other important advocacy organizations.