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New Mexico State Police plans DUI checkpoints throughout October

The historic district of Santa Fe is seen behind a security Capitol checkpoint on Jan. 19, 2021, in Santa Fe. (Cedar Attanasio/The Associated Press)
Goal is to change attitudes about driving impaired

New Mexico State Police will conduct checkpoints and saturation patrols in counties across the state throughout October to help reduce DUI deaths.

Drivers will be asked for a license, vehicle registration and proof of insurance, said a news release from deputy information officer Ray Wilson.

“We are bringing awareness to these events to reduce impaired driving-related fatalities through continued media attention and intensive advertising,” the news release said.

The checkpoints are intended to help change attitudes about driving while under the influence of liquor or drugs.

“Hundreds of lives could be saved each year if every driver had the courage to make the right decision not to drive impaired,” the news release said.

Although the State Patrol has no data “from studies or research that demonstrates the effectiveness of DWI checkpoints in saving lives,’ Wilson said that if a checkpoint “prevents one fatal DWI crash by taking an intoxicated driver off the road, it has been effective.”

Locations of checkpoints are determined by analyzing Geospatial and Population Studies conducted by the University of New Mexico in cooperation with New Mexico Department of Transportation, Wilson said.

Citations issued at checkpoints for driver’s license, insurance and registration infractions do not raise revenue because they require mandatory court appearances before a judge, not fines.