Drunk Driving activist are against the expansion of New Mexico's Safe Ride program

Discussion in 'Up to the Minute' started by porkchop, Apr 25, 2011.

  1. porkchop

    porkchop New Member

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    ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - Safe Ride, Bernalillo County's program that offers bar hoppers free rides to and from home, will see a $20,000 increase in funding next year, but one of drunk driving's biggest opponents says it's a bad idea.

    "I have a big problem with that," said Linda Atkinson with the DWI Resource Center. "The victims we work with and the victims that MADD works with los their jobs, lose their homes. They lose everything and there's no pot of money that helps them."

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  3. sorrell skye

    sorrell skye Well-Known Member

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    From porkchop's link:

    Safe Ride is partially funded by money generated from alcohol excise taxes and from court fines paid by DWI offenders in Bernalillo County. Together, the fund totals more than $4 million.

    Swisstack said it's up to the county to decide which programs and agencies will get money from the DWI funds. Since 2003, they've allocated about $100,000 a year to Safe Ride. Next year, they'll set aside $120,000, a 20 percent increase.

    The goal is to keep intoxicated drivers off the streets. Out of a $4 million fund, $100,000 - $120,000 toward that goal is money well spent, IMO.

    According to the article, about 6,000 people utilize the Safe Ride program in that area each year. I would be interested in data regarding the stats of DWI citations dating back to when this program was launched in 2003, and whether or not the program has had any effect on the rate of drunk driving in the area (as well as if the number of traffic accidents/fatalities due to DUIs has decreased.

    A question I have, though, is: what type of drivers are using the Safe Ride program? Are they the type of drivers who wouldn't drink & drive even without such a program? Or are they the type of drivers who would drive drunk if Safe Ride didn't exist?

    At any rate, I would think the DWI Resource Center & MADD would be thrilled that 6,000 people are using Safe Ride. For whatever reason the participants are utilizing the service, that's 6,000 fewer intoxicated drivers on the roads.

    I agree with Atkinson (DWI Resource Center) that money needs to be spent on enforcement & education.

    However, prevention is also part of the solution, IMO.

    I say BRAVO to the Safe Ride program!

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