DUI checkpoint planned Friday, location not disclosed

Other sobriety checkpoints to follow in December

John R. Moses
Farmington Daily Times
Vehicles approach a sobriety checkpoint on Dec. 19, 2014, on East Main Street in Farmington in this file photo.

FARMINGTON — The holidays are close at hand, and so are holiday gatherings. That has sparked the renewal of a high-profile and usually brightly lit law enforcement tradition.

The New Mexico State Police are kicking off enhanced seasonal DUI enforcement Friday with a multi-agency checkpoint somewhere in San Juan County.

"This checkpoint, as all checkpoints, is designed to apprehend drunk drivers and make the highways safer for the motoring public," according to a press release from Sgt. Joseph Schake.

And this won't be the only checkpoint, State Police Capt. Micah Doering said today. "We will be doing five or six," he said.

Don't look for public notice of specific checkpoint locations. "We keep it pretty general. We like to keep them on their toes," Douring said of people inclined to drink and drive.

Farmington police will run their own checkpoints in December, spokesperson Georgette Allen said.

"The checkpoints are part of the New Mexico Department of Transportation’s ENDDWI campaign," Allen said in a press release. "The campaign was created to help reduce the number of alcohol-related crashes and fatalities on our roadways. In addition to conducting checkpoints, FPD continues to promote their RADD campaign, which encourages drivers to report aggressive and drunk drivers by calling 911."

Public safety officials advise seasonal celebrants to take a cab or have a designated driver instead of getting behind the wheel of a vehicle while intoxicated.

"Alcohol is involved in 40 percent of all fatal traffic crashes in New Mexico, which makes alcohol-related traffic fatalities the single largest factor in this state’s traffic deaths," the New Mexico Department of Public Safety website states.

A first misdemeanor offense can result in six months to one year license revocation (one year if younger than 21), up to 90 days in jail, a mandatory stint in DWI school, an alcohol evaluation, a vehicle ignition interlock for one year, community service and a possible mandated treatment program, the DPS website states.

The state Motor Vehicle Department website advises that any DWI conviction "will remain on your driving record for 55 years."

Contact John R. Moses at 505-564-6424 or via email at jmoses@daily-times.com.