Richardson Unveils DWI Bills

Las Cruces – Gov. Bill Richardson says first-time drunken driving offenses should carry three days of mandatory jail time and $2,500 in fines.

Richardson said Monday during a news conference that New Mexico has decreased alcohol-involved fatalities by 35 percent but it's not enough.

The Democratic governor announced the increased penalties and the closure of loopholes involving drunken driving as part of a package of bills he plans to put before the Legislature next year.

Richardson was joined by Mothers Against Drunk Driving president Laura Dean-Mooney. She says New Mexico is setting an example nationwide for being tough on drunk drivers and she supports his legislative agenda.

Richardson also seeks a bill that would prevent drivers who refuse to provide blood or breath samples to plea down to non-DWI charges.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press.