December 03, 2015

A Day of Remembrance

The holidays are a joyous time, full of celebrations with family and friends. But Thanksgiving through New Year’s is also a dangerous time on the roads. We were tragically reminded of that this past weekend, when three young New Mexicans were killed in a horrific crash involving a drunk driver in Albuquerque. I know all of us have their families and friends in our hearts.

Already this year, nearly 100 people have been killed by drunk drivers in New Mexico. Their deaths were completely preventable. And while they don’t all make headlines, each accident is a tragedy.

Today is the first National Day of Remembrance for victims of drunk and drugged driving. I'm introducing a resolution in the U.S. Senate to show that our nation stands together to honor those killed or injured. Take time today to remember the victims of drunk driving. They aren't just numbers — they're our friends, brothers, sisters, parents and children.

I've been working with Mothers Against Drunk Driving and Bernalillo County Sheriff Manny Gonzales to spread the word that ending drunk driving starts with each of us. We want New Mexicans to have fun safely. Designate a driver. Take a cab. Step in when it isn't safe for a friend or family member to get behind the wheel.

If you see a driver you suspect is impaired, report it by calling New Mexico’s Drunk Busters Hotline, 877-DWI-HALT. Or simply dial #DWI from a cell phone.

Click here to learn more about the program and free ride options in your area.

When I was elected Attorney General 25 years ago, New Mexico had the highest rate of DWI deaths in the nation. We’ve made progress since then, thanks to the efforts of passionate advocates who have helped push to overhaul New Mexico’s DWI and traffic safety laws — saving countless lives.

Someday soon, I hope we’ll be able to stop all drunk drivers from getting behind the wheel. I’ve pushed for funding to create technology — called the Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety, or DADSS — that would analyze a driver’s breath or blood alcohol content automatically and stop drunk drivers from starting the engine.

That could save 59,000 lives over 15 years. A future without drunk driving is in reach. But for now, remember to be smart during the holidays. We can help stop these tragedies by taking responsibility for ourselves and one another. Let's work together to hit the brakes on drunk driving.