During his six-years in office, Gov. Bill Richardson has worked to strengthen New Mexico drunk driving laws, as well as increase law enforcement efforts and raise the public awareness of the dangers of drinking and driving. Now Richardson has taken aim at reducing driving under the influence of illegal drugs in New Mexico. He has proposed legislation that would call for a motorist to submit to a drug test if they fail a field sobriety test.
Richardson cited statistics claiming that 97 percent of those arrested for impairment and given a blood test show positive signs of illegal drugs. While New Mexico DWI laws already cover the prohibition of driving under the influence of illegal drugs, establishing degree of impairment for prosecution can be difficult. Checking for blood alcohol content in suspected NM DWI cases can be done relatively easy and quickly, but testing for illegal drugs requires a blood sample and time for processing.
A spokesperson with the New Mexico Department of Public Safety said that when motorists are issued driver