The effort by law enforcement agencies to crack down on New Mexico drunk driving has resulted in a record number of seized vehicles. Repeat offenders for drunk driving in Albuquerque have contributed to literally acres of cars and trucks.
One impound lot covers nine acres, with officers seizing about 2,200 vehicles in 2007. In looking at the assortment, one finds expensive trucks to downright clunkers. Albuquerque’s deputy city attorney revealed that hard-core alcoholics actually purchase second ‘junk’ cars as their drinking vehicles. Many NM driving while intoxicated defendants have said “that’s my drunk car.”
Police periodically conduct auctions of the seized vehicles. More than 3000 DWI seizure vehicles have been sold since the program was initiated seven years ago. Despite costing half a million dollars to run the seizure program, last year there was a profit from towing, auction and storage fees. That money went into a pool for New Mexico drunk driving programs, including education, training and equipment purchases.