ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – An expensive city law designed to shame drunk drivers into staying off the roads may not be having the effect politicians intended.
In fact, the law may be having no effect at all.
“We don’t believe there’s any research – not any that I’ve seen and not any that our national office has been aware of – that really shows that there is an effectiveness in deterring the drunk driving issue,” said Lora Lee Ortiz, head of the New Mexico chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving.
The law, passed in 2006 by the Albuquerque City Council, calls for the jail mug shots of all people convicted of drunken driving in Bernalillo County Metropolitan Court or the Second Judicial District to be published in the newspaper or on the city’s Web site.
Since then, the city has spent more than $250,000 on 41 double-sided, full-page ads in the Albuquerque Journal. The ads are published roughly every six weeks and have featured about 7,000 people convicted of driving while intoxicated. The city pays for the ads using public funds earmarked for DWI enforcement and education.
According to statistics, about 22,000 people have been convicted of DWI in Bernalillo County during the last five years. It was not immediately clear why only one-third of those convicted have appeared in the newspaper. ….MORE