Should DWI Checkpoints Be Allowed in New Mexico?

The New Mexico Court of Appeals recently ruled that police sobriety (DWI) checkpoints are constitutional as long as the police “try” to publicize it. They keyword here is “try.”

In 2013, the New Mexico State Police sent a notice of their DWI checkpoint to a nonworking email address at a small radio station. Obviously the “notice” was never publicized.

According to the Albuquerque Journal, Albuquerque police DWI Sgt. Kyle Curtis said in a statement, “What the media does with the press release and or the media release is out of our hands.”

That statement is just ridiculous. The New Mexico State Police (and other Departments) know what they are doing. The Court of Appeals ruling will allow Departments to “try” and publicize notice in the most obscure ways possible.

I am not condoning Driving While Intoxicated in New Mexico. I cannot and will not condone drunk driving. DWI has destroyed far too many lives. If you must drink, have a designated driver or call an Uber to pick you up.

On the other hand, I cannot and will not condone illegal search and seizure. The Police are public servants and should be required to make a reasonable attempt to uphold the constitution. There should be a reasonableness test required when attempting to “publicize” the sobriety checkpoints. That seems like a fair requirement for Police Departments.

In the end, it may not matter one-way or the other because the Court ruled, “a lack of advance publicity, without more, is simply not sufficient to find that a DWI checkpoint constitutes an illegal seizure.

I guess we will have to wait and see if the New Mexico Supreme Court decides to hear the case. What do you think about this case or DWI checkpoints in general?

Protect Women in New Mexico: Push to amend the Big Bad Wolf Law


Big Bad WolfThis is an URGENT matter that needs immediate attention! An existing New Mexico law puts victim’s of Domestic violence at extreme risk. Please contact your representative’s and tell the to support Senator Jacob Candelaria’s push to amend the law. It must be done now. This is not a matter that can be put of for years to come. There has already been one incident where an estranged spouse was “authorized” to be in a home and could not be convicted of aggravated burglary. Below is a summary of what is going on (It is a little dry… but informative):
In State v. Parvilus, 297 P.3d 1228 (N.M. App. 2012), the  New Mexico Court of Appeals concluded that, as a matter of law, a spouse could not be excluded from their spouses dwelling. See NMSA 1978, § 40-3-3 (1907)(stating that “[n]either husband nor wife has any interest in the property of the other, but neither can be excluded from the other’s dwelling”).  For an individual to be convicted of Aggravated Burglary, that individual must be found to have been unauthorized to enter the dwelling among other elements. See NMSA 1978, § 30-16-4(1963)(stating that “[a]ggravated burglary consists of the unauthorized entry to any dwelling”). The Court of Appeals cited State v. Office of the Public Defender, ex rel. Muqqddin, 2012-NMSC-029, 285 P.3d 622 which states that “the purpose of our burglary statute is to protect possessory rights with respect to structures and conveyances, and to define prohibited space” and “chief among the possessory interests that burglary is designed to protect is the right to exclude.”The COA says that it is aware that the holding will force victims of domestic violence to allow their spouses in their homes no matter what that spouse’s intentions may be. The spousal exclusion rule is very dangerous and needs to be amended. The COA says that it may be absurd, but it is up to the Legislature to change it. We need to include an exception that states reasons when a spouse may exclude the other spouse from a dwelling. I believe we are the only state that still has this outdated law. It is hard to imagine anybody thinking that this is a bad idea. It protects women who are moving on from abusive marriages. They need to know that they can feel safe in their new homes. It is ridiculous that they cannot exclude their spouse from their home.”