The Santa Fe County Commission passed the DWI forfeiture Ordinance yesterday. The ordinance allows the seizure of a suspect’s vehicle on the third DWI arrest when they have two prior convictions on their record. A vehicle may also be seized if the driver is driving while their license is revoked for a DWI arrest. Commissioner Harry Montoya carried the ordinance after I proposed that the county consider passing such an ordinance. I really want to thank the County commissioners, our excellent legal staff and all the DWI prevention proponents who assisted in getting this passed. A special thanks to the Santa Fe New Mexican who really kept this issue at the forefront of the newspaper and on their web site. I also want to thank the other media who also keep this issue on people’s radar screens.
Seized vehicles will either be sold at auction or the county may allow an innocent owner to sign an agreement which will allow the vehicle to only be booted for 30 days. The owner pays the cost of the boot and the vehicle will not be forfeited. An ignition interlock may also be installed as part of the agreement. The agreement also states that if the same offender is caught driving the same vehicle while either on a revoked drivers license (revoked for D.W.I.) or while actually driving while intoxicated, the vehicle will be subject to immediate seizure and will be sold.
This ordinance will give families a tool to use when their family members want to use the car and they have a history of drunk driving. They can refuse to lend or allow use of the car and tell their family members the reason is that they do not want to lose the family car. It puts more pressure on family's to not let their family member drive drunk.
Currently drivers convicted of D.W.I. have no reason to drive on a revoked drivers license. Anyone who has had their license taken away for D.W.I. can get their license back if they install an Interlock Device on their vehicle. With that provision there is no reason that someone should be driving on a revoked license for D.W.I.. Therefore we have given them the means to legally drive and not be subject to having their vehicle taken and if they choose not to follow the law then the consequences are their own fault. The ordinance will take effect July 1, 2006.
In other news aside from returning to Santa Fe for the county commission meeting, the State Sheriff's and Police Conference is going well. The training has been excellent and the networking as always is a great tool to see what is happening in other parts of the state. As another great side note they have door prizes and I won an IPOD given away at the conference. My 13-year-old daughter has been asking for one and I will probably give it to her for her 14th birthday, which is in June.
The winds are playing havoc with my campaign signs for the re-election. No matter how carefully we secure them we are losing quite a few each day. I hope the winds die down otherwise we will have to place another order for more signs. Signs are a necessary evil and the most inexpensive form of advertising. They also can be the most frustrating part of a political campaign. Signs are routinely thrown down, blown down, run over, vandalized and mysteriously disappear. Candidates and their supporters begin to blame the other candidates and their supporters for the missing and damaged signs. After two campaigns and now being in the midst of my third I can say that most of the time it’s just the elements (wind, rain, etc) or people not related to the other candidates damaging or throwing down signs.
Now for a plug on my re-election campaign. If you would like a yard sign or have property where you would like us to install the sign call 505-470-4731 and we will get one to you or install it for you. If we install it we also keep a list and take it down when the election is over. You can also fill out a form at my campaign web site to ask for bumper stickers, buttons, and signs as well as volunteer to help the campaign. Other than signs in the wind the re-election campaign is going well. Unfortunately my opponent is getting increasingly negative in her campaign however, I will not follow suit. I vow to stay positive and just campaign on my record and the issues.