A recent report from the state of New Mexico should put all those involved in the criminal justice system, particularly those involved with DWIs, on alert. The governor of New Mexico recently issued several executive orders that drastically change how law officers and authorities deal with legal actions involving DWIs.
These initiatives were advanced by the governor’s office after the state’s legislature failed to passed asked-for legislation. In conjunction with this move and the unpassed legislation, the police in that state recently conducted a campaign costing hundreds of thousands of dollars aimed at educating the public on what happens in DWI car crashes.
Proposals and Measures
There are several proposals that will take effect in the near future. First, the governor has ordered the state’s police to increase patrols along the state’s highways near Farmington and Gallup New Mexico. According to reports, those areas suffer more DWI-related incidents than other areas.
In addition to increased police patrols, the governor instructed law enforcement to conduct a bench-warrant round up. In its essence, this will empower police to go after DWI convicts who have violated parole or probation and bring them to court or jail. But neither increased patrols or cleaning up bench-warrants are as controversial as the concluding measures.
The governor announced that the NM Department of Transportation will set up a court monitoring program. Under that program judges and prosecutors who handle DWI cases will be monitored and a report about their actions will be sent to the governor. The exact aim of this proposal is not clear, but it does threaten the professional, independant judgement that judges and prosecutors need to effectively do their jobs.
Legality Under Texas Law
While these proposals have not been introduced into Texas, such proposals are never far away once one state begins them. But if such measures were introduced in Texas they would most likely face a legal challenge. The problem with setting up a court monitoring program is what threat that poses to what are supposed to be independent judges.
Under our system of criminal justice, defendants must be able to rely on judges that will solely apply the law, and not party politics or public pleasing programs. Anti-DWI programs such as these necessarily have an impact on how judges treat DWI cases. And if a judge feels pressure from a state governor to act in one way or another, then that threatens the just outcome of every DWI case in court.
Proactively Defending Your Rights
At the Wilder DWI Defense Firm we proactively protect and advocate for the rights of DWI suspects. We apply the standard that each suspect is innocent until proved guilty of committing a crime. That is why we choose to practice DWI defense law, we understand the uphill battle that those charged with DWI are in, and we want to help fight it. If you have been accused of DWI in the Dallas area, contact us. We look forward to going over your case with you and providing you with the legal counsel your case deserves.