Safe Summer Project Campaign Kicks Off

Drunk drivers in New Mexico are the target of a new initiative to make the state’s highways safer this summer.

In a press release dated May 25, 2011, Transportation Secretary Alvin C. Dominguez, Public Safety director Gorden Eden, New Mexico State Police Chief Robert Shilling and Governor Susana Martinez announced the Safe Summer Project Campaign.

The new program combines other safety-related programs, including Click It or Ticket, Operation Buckle Down, Operation, DWI, 100 Days and Nights of Summer, Officer Every 15 Miles, Get Your Clicks on Route 66 and others.

“New Mexico is sending a strong message to anyone who decides to drive drunk or recklessly on our roads – do not do it; you will get caught,” Martinez said. “Hundreds of police officers will be vigorously patrolling during the next three months, focusing their efforts on drunken drivers, speeders and seat belt use in order to ensure the safety of all New Mexicans.”

Dominguez said there were 91 DWI arrests and 24,000 citations written in the three month summer period last year.

“With the Memorial Day Holiday and the start of the summer driving season just a few days away, thousands of families will be hitting the road,” Dominguez said. “And it is our hope that with these increased law enforcement efforts, everyone will be able to make it to their destination safely.”

In 2010, 93 crashes and 101 fatalities were reported between June 10 and September 8, of those, 44 were alcohol-involved. While 2010 fatalities increased by 13, overall fatalities since the start of the 100 Days and Nights of Summer campaign have decreased by nearly 30 percent.