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New Mexico Bill Would Raise DWI Fines 100-Fold

February 14, 2000

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The New Mexico state Legislature is considering a bill that would raise fines against truckers who drive after drinking from the current $10 to $25 to $1,000 to $2,500.

The law is being considered to make sure the state doesn't lose federal highway construction funds or the ability to issue Commercial Driver's Licenses because its rules don't live up to federal minimum standards.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration told the Albuquerque Journal that state law must penalize drivers with commercial licenses if they are found to be driving with a blood-alcohol level of .04. While the law was changed four years ago to the .04 standard, the low fines aren't much of a penalty.
The bill is sponsored by Senate Minority Leader Skip Vernon and is supported by the state Highway and Transportation Department, the state Motor Vehicle Division and the New Mexico Motor Carrier Assn.

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