DWI Sentencing Checklist

By Linda Atkinson
Executive Director
DWI Resource Center
latkinson@dwirc.org

Here’s a helpful tool for New Mexico judges….do they have what it takes to use it wisely?

The DWI Sentencing Checklist below should be reviewed and utilized by every judge in New Mexico that sentences DWI offenders. The checklist was put together by the National Center for State Courts and National Highway Safety Traffic Safety Administration.

 

DWI Sentencing Checklist[1]

The table below summarizes the evidence concerning various DWI sentencing options

Offender

Sanction

Effectiveness

Comment

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

First Conviction

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                     Licensing
Suspension/revocation
(≥90 days; 30 days hard)
Reduces alcohol-related fatalities 6%-19% (administrative license revocation) One study showed it does not cause employment problems.

Vehicle Actions (For Very High BAC’s)

Impoundment/immobilization

 

Reduces recidivism by 40%-70%. Immobilization may be more cost-effective.
Alcohol ignition interlocks

 

Effective while on vehicle.

 

Breath test failures in first few weeks are best predictor of recidivism.
License plate impoundment Shown to be effective in MN. More cost-efficient than impoundment
                          Assessment and Rehabilitation
Treatment as appropriate to problem Reduces recidivism by 7%-9%. Should be paid by the offender when possible
                                     Sentencing Options
Electronic monitoring home confinement Effective alternative to jail. Reduces recidivism by 33%. Can be self-sufficient if paid by the offender
Fines No studies of effectiveness found. Sometimes used to pay for programs.

 

                                                                              Licensing

 

MULTIPLE CONVICTIONS
(Repeat Offender)

 

 

 

 

 

 

MULTIPLE CONVICTIONS
(Repeat Offender)

 

 

 

 

Suspension/revocation (≥ 1 year) 30-90 days hard Remaining days on restricted license/work permit. No studies found on the effects of license suspension on repeat offenders. General deterrent effect of 6%-19%.

 

Studies indicate 50%-70% of offenders continue to drive to some extent
                                        Vehicle Actions
Impoundment/immobilization

 

Reduces recidivism by 40%-70%. Immobilization may be more cost-effective.
Alcohol ignition interlocks

 

Reduces recidivism while on vehicle.

 

Breath test failures in first few weeks are best predictor of recidivism.
License plate impoundment Shown to reduce recidivism in MN. More cost-efficient than impoundment.

Assessment and Rehabilitation

Mandatory assessment of drinking problem and mandatory treatment

 

Reduces recidivism by 7%-9%.

 

Should be paid by the offender when possible.

 

Sentencing Options

Electronic monitoring and home confinement Reduces recidivism by 33%. Can be self-sufficient if paid by the offender
Intensive supervision probation Reduces recidivism by 50%. Should be at least partially funded by the offender
Special DWI facilities Reduces recidivism by 75%.  
Day reporting center Integrates offender back into society. More cost-effective than jail.
Fines, reinstatement fees No studies on effectiveness found Helps pay for costs of other sanctions.
DWI court (e.g., frequent contact with judge; intensive supervision probation; treatment; random alcohol/drug testing; lifestyle changes; positive reinforcement) Some courts reporting reductions in recidivism by 50% or greater. Multiple funding sources available. NHTSA and the Bureau of Justice Assistance have a joint evaluation underway.
 

 

There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest.
– Elie Wiesel


[1] The Courts’ Role in Reducing the Incidence of impaired Driving, a resource for general jurisdiction court judges, National Center for State Courts and National Highway Safety Traffic Safety Administration.

8 replies
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    Reply
  2. Jesse Salazar
    Jesse Salazar says:

    I have a dwi in New Mexico at las cruces and three in El Paso tx I did a year encarcerated and signed a plea to run concurrently a month before I was released I get called to change of plea and add 26 more months I’m currently out on parole for El Paso tx I was in tdcj at Hamilton unit that is only for dwi prison I pass all my classes and now New Mexico wants to give me 26 months for my 4 dwi what can I do is that possible and can they back down from the deal I signed before they send me to prison?

    Reply
    • latkinson505
      latkinson505 says:

      If you had more DWI’s in New Mexico than the one in Las Cruces, that might be what they are looking at. Since I don’t have all the information in our cases, I think they can do whatever they think you have responsibility for. I would check what information and law they are using to do this.

      Reply
      • Jesse Salazar
        Jesse Salazar says:

        I only have 1 in New Mexico 3 in El Paso Texas I already did time with Texas just got out1/31/18 but I had signed a plea to run concurrently with Texas now a month before I get out they change the plea

        Reply
      • Jesse Salazar
        Jesse Salazar says:

        I only have 1 in New Mexico 3 in El Paso that I’ve already pay for the offer of 26 months is in the table you think it will go lower I’ve looked on line and for a 1st offense aggravated is 2-3 days in jail 4 th dwi is 6-18 months six mandatory and the one they tried to penalize me is if it was my 6-7 dwi that be 2-3 years one mandatory what can I do or am I even going to do time can’t they add to my parole

        Reply

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