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More than 20 officers will be assigned full time looking for DWI offenders throughout the city. There will also be at least two checkpoints conducted by the APD DWI Unit before the end of the year.

December 21, 2012

Albuquerque— The Albuquerque Police Department will be out in full force during the upcoming holidays looking for drunk drivers.

More than 20 officers will be assigned full time looking for DWI offenders throughout the city. There will also be at least two checkpoints conducted by the APD DWI Unit before the end of the year.

Last year, APD conducted DWI saturation patrols last Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day and in the 4 days, 38 total people were arrested.

"We want this to be a holiday of celebration and not a holiday of morning," Mayor Berry said. "Too often we have seen the holiday turned tragic because of drunk drivers."

This year marks the fifth anniversary of one of the deadliest New Year’s DWI crashes in the city’s history. On Jan 1, 2008 Josephine Laweka and her boyfriend, Marvin J. Garcia, were killed in the intersection of 4th St and Menaul on New Year’s Day when Micah Henry ran a red light and slammed into their truck instantly killing the Northern New Mexico couple. In May 2009, Henry was sentenced to eight years in prison. He is currently serving his sentence at the Central New Mexico Correctional Facility.

Mayor Berry and Police Chief Raymond Schultz held a news conference at the crash site Friday reminding people not to drink and drive.

"The memories of Ms. Laweka and Mr. Garcia should never be forgotten," Chief Schultz said. "The only way we can honor their memory is to make sure no one forgets that drinking and driving claims lives."

Chief Schultz also encouraged people who are considering drinking this holiday to call the Bernalillo County Safe Ride program at 242-RIDE or to choose one of the many alternatives to drinking and driving.

Motorists arrested for their first DWI in New Mexico face up to 90 days in jail, 6 months to one year license revocation, DWI school, an ignition interlock for one year, and community service. Multiple offenders could face three years in prison,vehicle seizure, lifetime license revocation and a $5,000 fine.

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