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Gov. promises to toughen DWI laws

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By Shepherd Waldenberger

Sun Correspondent

Gov. Susana Martinez paid a visit to Gallup Dec. 10 to announce crackdowns on repeat DWI offenders.

New Mexico State Police Chief Pete Kassetas joined the governor and a host of other police officers at We The People Park Thursday afternoon to express concerns over continuing drunk driving incidents, and unveiled a list of the “Top-Ten Most Wanted DWI Absconders.”

“The legislature has failed to act to toughen DWI laws, so we’re going to do it,” Martinez said.

She explained that she's tired of the hazards drunk drivers pose to the community and means to put a stop to it. To those most wanted DWI absconders, Martinez has a clear message – “We’re looking for you.”

Kassetas followed up the governor, announcing that they apprehended one of the DWI fugitives earlier that day, noting that in addition to his DWI crimes, he also owed $30,000 in child support.

“He’s going to jail, and I hope he stays in jail,”  Kassetas said.

The news was met by applause from the governor and officers in attendance.  Many officers were from the Mckinley County Sheriff’s Office DWI Unit, which will dispatch staff and extend shifts to help combat drunk driving.

While the logistics of keeping repeat DWI offenders off the roads are complex, the mission is clear.

“Our focus is keeping people safe,” Martinez said.