Don’t drink and drive

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Summer is a time to relax and have some fun. And for others, it’s the perfect time to have a drink or two, or three, or four and so on.
While it might be OK to have a few drinks, it’s never OK to drink and drive. Last month, Gov. Susana Martinez unveiled the state’s new anti-DWI campaign, ENDWI. The governor, along with Mothers Against Drunk Driving, the New Mexico Department of Transportation, the New Mexico Department of Public Safety and local law enforcement agencies across New Mexico stand behind this campaign. And so do we.
According to the latest statistics, about 60 percent of DWI-related fatalities in 2011 involved repeat offenders, which is an increase of 30 percent over five years ago. While the number of DWI-related fatalities has decreased by more than 200 per year over the past two decades, the trend has flatlined as the state has seen about 150 DWI-related deaths per year for the past four years.
“New Mexico’s efforts to combat DWI have been successful in decreasing the number of deaths per year, but it is still unacceptable that 150 New Mexicans are killed each year as a result of drunken driving,” said Gov. Martinez.
The new anti-DWI effort isn’t really a new one. Across the country, lawmakers, law enforcement and other groups have pleaded with motorists not to drink and drive.
While the sentiment remains the same, it’s always worth repeating: Drunk driving kills. It kills mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters, children and grandparents. It kills teachers and business owners, students and athletes, and it can kill you if you drink and drive.
This is a crime that doesn’t discriminate. It doesn’t matter if your Hispanic or African-American, gay or straight, or even Republican or Democrat. It simply kills.
We understand that alcoholism is a disease, but that doesn’t give anyone a license to get behind the wheel of a vehicle after having too much to drink. It is irresponsible and dangerous.
So remember the next time you decided to drink, don’t drive. Hand your keys over to a sober driver. It could save your life and mine.