Gov. Susana Martinez's administration says a new analysis finds repeat drunken driving offenders responsible for a growing share of traffic deaths in New Mexico.
The Traffic Safety Bureau reports that nearly 60% of alcohol-related traffic deaths last year involved a driver with more than one arrest or conviction for drunken driving. That's up from 35% in 2009 and 47% in 2010.
The governor says the figures point to a need to increase penalties for repeated DWI convictions. But some activists in the fight against drunken driving question the state agency's statistical findings and doubt that changes in sentencing laws for repeat offenders will do much to reduce the number of alcohol-related fatalities on New Mexico roads.