New DWI Policy for City Employees
Spokesman Chris T. Ramirez
Telephone: (505) 350-4833
Albuquerque—Mayor Richard J. Berry announced Aug. 3 a new policy the City of Albuquerque will follow when a City employee is arrested for driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
If an employee is arrested and charged with a DWI, the City will suspend the employee's City Operator Permit (COP) for at least 90 days. The COP is the City issued permit required to drive on City business. Within that 90 day suspension period, the employee will be reassigned or allowed to take leave until a valid New Mexico driver's license without restrictions is produced. The employee may also transfer to another position that does not require the operation of a City owned vehicle.
Once the City suspends an employee's COP due to a DWI arrest, the Director of Human Resources will review the employee's position to determine if driving a City owned vehicle is an essential function of the employee's position and whether the employee can return to work without a COP or transfer to a position that does not require driving a City vehicle.
An employee who transfers is not guaranteed the same amount of pay he/she had in the original position. The employee must accept the salary that the new position pays, even if it is a lower one.
Any City employee who does not produce a valid restriction-free New Mexico driver's license or who has not been selected for transfer to another position after the 90 day period may be terminated.
"We're interested in keeping employees and the general public safe by not allowing City employees who have been arrested for DWI to operate a City owned vehicle," Mayor Berry said. "Drinking and driving is a serious problem, and we want employees and the public to know that DWI has serious consequences at the City of Albuquerque."
Another feature of this policy requires anyone hired by the City into a position requiring a COP must have a five year driving record free of any DWI convictions. It should also be noted that employees without a COP are ineligible for mileage reimbursements in their own personal vehicles.
"We simply don't want employees with pending DWI charges or convictions operating City owned vehicles or their own vehicles during the course of City business." said Chief Administrative Officer David Campbell.