Last updated 3:43PM ET
December 11, 2017
KSUT Regional
KSUT Regional
Governor Richardson Tackles DWIs in San Juan County
(2008-07-16)
(ksut) - HOST LEAD: Governor Bill Richardson visited San Juan College in Farmington today/Wednesday to announce new DWI initiatives in San Juan County.

KSUT's Sarah Baumgartner reports.

BILL RICHARDSON: I CARE IF YOU ARE IN A DRUNK DRIVING CRASH.

SARAH: That's the slogan for the statewide campaign against drunk driving beginning this fall in New Mexico. Governor Richardson announced the phase II billboard and media campaign which features two respected Navajo women, activist Marjorie Grandma Thomas and Miss Navajo 2007-2008 Jonathea Tso.
Governor Richardson also announced a new pilot project to help reduce DWI's in San Juan County and recidivism. Rachel O'Connor is the DWI Czar for New Mexico.
O'Connor explains the new alcohol testing technology made by an Albuquerque based company, TruTouch .
RACHEL O'CONNOR: ESSENTIALLY WHAT'S UNIQUE ABOUT THE TRUTOUCH SYSTEM IS THAT IT'S NON-INVASIVE TECHNOLOGY. IT DOES NOT REQUIRE BLOOD TESTING. IT DOES NOT REQUIRE BREATH TESTING. ON THE NATIONAL LEVEL WE'RE LOOKING AT USING THIS SO THAT WE CAN EVENTUALLY DEVELOP CARS WHERE THE CAR WILL KNOW IF SOMEONE IS ALCOHOL POSITIVE.
The pilot program started in San Juan County two months ago. Four other counties in the state will also be using the TruTouch Technology system; Bernalillo, Dona Ana, Sandoval and Lea.
The roughly $80,000 experimental project is contracted to be used in the county for at least a year.
Governor Richardson also announced the addition of a full-time court monitor for San Juan County to see that local courts remain in compliance with existing DWI laws.
During the presentation O'Connor stated that 50% of all DWI related fatalities occur on tribal land.
Governor Richardson said that this endeavor to reduce the number of DWI's on tribal land is going to have to be a regional effort without boundaries.
RICHARDSON: I THINK IT MAKES SENSE TO HAVE A REGIONAL APPROACH AND FOUR CORNERS APPROACH, AS MANY ENTITIES AS POSSIBLE. I THINK OUR BIGGEST PROBLEM HAS BEEN WITH TRIBAL GOVERNMENTS GETTING THEM COMFORTABLE WITH SHARING DATA, SHARING POLICY TOGETHER. WE'VE MADE PROGRESS BUT, YEAH, I'D BE VERY INTERESTING IN A JOINT APPROACH THAT INVOLVES THE STATES AND THE LOCAL COUNTIES WORKING TOGETHER ABSOLUTELY.
After the announcements, Governor Richardson also took time to meet with 52 members of the public. Topics the governor heard about ranged from oil and gas, land use, Desert Rock and other issues the public felt he needed to hear.
PUBLIC: WE'RE HEAR TODAY TO TALK TO THE GOVERNOR ABOUT NATIONAL DAY OF CARE. IT'S A DAY THAT WE HAVE SET ASIDE TO RAISE MONEY AND AWARENESS FOR ORPHANS IN AFRICA.
WE'D LIKE TO SPEAK TO HIM ABOUT SOME MEDICAL BILLS THAT I DON'T HAVE TO MONEY TO PAY FOR THEM AND WOULD LIKE TO BE ABLE TO FIND OUT HOW THE SATE OF NEW MEXICO CAN HELP ME.
Michael Hattabaugh is a professor at San Juan College and said he appreciates the Governors visit to Farmington.
MICHAEL HATTABAUGH: YOU KNOW IT'S ALWAYS GREAT WHEN POLITICIAN GET OUT IN THE PUBLIC AND INSTEAD OF JUST LIVING IN THE GLASS HOUSE. I ALWAYS APPRECIATE THAT ABOUT ANY POLITICIAN.
Members of Governor Richardson office said that they had so many individuals that wanted to speak to the Governor that they had to turn people away.
From KSUT, Four Corners Public Radio, I'm Sarah Baumgartner.
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