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I See Drunk Drivers, They Are Everywhere!

The image above is a map of a random part of Albuquerque from a new service that our daily morning paper, The Albuquerque Journal, started today. It’s an interactive map that allows you to see everyone that got arrested in the metro area in the last 7 days. If you want to see the interactive map, you can click here.

Now what really struck me was not only that the people who got arrested for DWI (Driving While Intoxicated) / DUI (Driving Under the Influence) aka Drunk Driving, got their own icon, but the shear number of people arrested for DWI / DUI in the last 7 days here in Albuquerque. I know that we have a drunk driving problem, but I guess I did not notice it was THAT bad.

A quick check of the crime data for Albuquerque from 2006 (last full year available) shows that 4,788 people were arrested for DUI. That is an average of 399 people per month, or just over 13 people per day. That number just scares the living crap out of me and it also does amaze me in some really werid way. So by my math, over the last 7 days, 91 people should have been arrested for DWI / DUI, which after looking at that map might just be true. I See Drunk Drivers, They Are Everywhere!


( 11 People Thought — Tell Me What You Think )
Feb. 28th, 2008 11:30 pm (UTC)
Yeah, it's pretty scary. Especially if their BAC is way above the legal limit.

Flagstaff, being a college down, has its share of crime problems (although not typically violent). It has one of the highest DUI rates in the country, with over 1,000 DUI arrests. In 2003, the DUI rate per 1,000 people was like 18, waaaay above normal (although it's gone down somewhat).
Feb. 29th, 2008 01:58 am (UTC)
Ya it is scary. I would say 95% of people know some one who has been effected by DWI or knows some one who has been killed in a DWI related crash.

Me personaly, a couple, who were at one time each my teachers in high school and both are close family friends, their 14 year old son was hit and killed by a driver who was not only drunk (2x the legal limit) and talking on his cell phone.

It just seems to never end around here, and our damn state legislators seem to do nothing to create hard punishments for drinking and driving.
Feb. 29th, 2008 04:15 am (UTC)
Unfortunately, harsh punishments don't serve as much of a deterrence. Some, I guess, but a lot of people driving drunk don't think they're that inebriated. Or are too sloshed to kill.
Feb. 29th, 2008 08:17 am (UTC)
Well around here we have lots of people with 9 and 10 DWI convictions against them. Hell, I think there is one guy with like 23 or something. I really think DWI should be a 3 strikes type thing (and even then, I think 3 strikes is too many). After their 3rd DWI, you lock them up, and throw away the key. No chance of parole, no good behavior time, nothing. I know it might sound harsh, but we need to do something to get these people off the streets for good.
Feb. 29th, 2008 07:47 pm (UTC)
That would probably violate the 8th amendment, as excessive. Just as the death penalty isn't legal for someone convicted of forcible rape of an adult, I don't imagine life in prison without the possibility of parole for DWI would be upheld.
Mar. 4th, 2008 11:58 am (UTC)
I never really noticed drunk drivers when I was just a passenger in the car, but I notice them more when I drive, and it's scary, just because they're obviously erratic and struggling to keep control of the car.
Mar. 4th, 2008 09:22 pm (UTC)
Ya it is scary. 2 friends of mine were driving up a one way street a few weeks ago and got hit head on by a drunk driver going the wrong way. They are ok for the most part. A few broken ribs and some other bruises, but they are still living.

I my self have never been hit by a drunk, but I have personally stopped and detained one (which was loads of fun when the cops took 10 days and a year to show). I had been driving down the road that my apartment complex was on one night and I knew that we were going rather slow then fast then slow again. So when I was making the turn into the complex, I noticed the a few cars ahead shoot into the oncoming traffic and at a high rate of speed.

So I quick turned around and started to look for where he went to. Well, got down to where the road T'ed, and found the driver had driven up on the sidewalk and driven right into a light pole. Dumb nuts was so drunk he could not figure out how to get the car into reverse. Another person who had witness all of this stopped too and we disabled his car by pulling the distributor cap and then told him that he would need to have his car needed to be repaired. Well instead of calling a tow truck, we called the cops.

Turns out the guy was driving on a revoked license for DWI. I have also called the cops on many before too. I also almost got hit last year in a head on with a drunk going the wrong way down a one way street too on the frontage road of the interstate by my house.

Also here in New Mexico we have a really fun game called NM Driver or Drunk Driver where you try and guess if the person in front of you is drunk, or just freaking does not know how to drive. It’s really a fun game. lol.
Mar. 5th, 2008 10:59 am (UTC)
The distributor cap move was some very quick thinking on your part. I'll have to keep that in mind if I ever find myself in that kind of situation.

Does New Mexico have an unusually high number of drunk drivers compared to other states?
Mar. 6th, 2008 07:51 am (UTC)
Ya, the distributor cap move is something to keep in mind if you ever need to disable a car fast. Also, just pulling the spark plug cables has the same effect as well.

As for NM having an unusually high number of drunk drivers compared to other states, yes we do. According to the Economist, in 2005 we had the 7th worse DWI / DUI rate in country. We are always in the top 5 or 10 worse for the country. (In 2002, we were the 5th worse).

We have people in this state with 8 and 12 DWI's. Back in Nov 2006, we had a drunk driver drive the wrong way down the interstate and killed five out of six members of a Las Vegas, NM family, with only their teenage daughter surviving.

Also, we are like the 48th worse place to raise a child too. Gotta love this state....
Mar. 6th, 2008 10:50 am (UTC)
Wow. I've always thought of New Mexico as kind of idyllic.

I think there's probably a better way to solve the problem than talking urinals though.
Mar. 6th, 2008 08:31 pm (UTC)
New Mexico is a very idyllic state in many ways, but we are not with out our problems, one of which is drunk drivers. I also agree with you that there must be a better way then talking urinals. Tougher laws and sentenceing, as well as making DWI / DUI a 3 strikes crime would be a good start in my book. Also, much better mass transit that works (key word) and runs much later would also be a good start.
( 11 People Thought — Tell Me What You Think )


Kevin Murray

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