Program trying to help bring down number of DWIs in Doña Ana County

A program in Dona Ana County is looking to crack down on DWI offenses.

According to the Sheriff’s Department in Doña Ana County, they’ve seen a decrease in the number of DWIs during the New Year's holiday.

In the past three years, the Sheriff’s Office says they’ve actually seen a decrease in DWIs.

They add that there’s one program that might be helping to keep the numbers stay low.

Project Home is a grant-funded taxi service in Doña Ana County that helps people get home safe after they’ve been drinking.

Project Home charges a flat rate of $5 for up to two people and $10 for up to four people to get a safe ride home.

“I think it’s one of the most wonderful things being offered right now. Actually, a lot of people need to take advantage of it,” Ray Martinez said.

According to the Sheriff’s Office, since 2015 there were only two DWI arrests made during New Year's Eve and New Year's Day.

However there were no DWI arrests in 2016 and 2017 for New Year's.

“We know that project initiatives like project home and our anti-DWI checkpoints are making a significant reduction in DWI arrests and DWI crashes,” Kelly Jameson, spokeswoman for Doña Ana County Sheriff’s Office said.

There were only two arrests made over this holiday weekend by the Sheriff’s Office for DWIs and four arrests for DWIs by Las Cruces police.

Jameson mentioned why New Mexico no longer leads the nation in DWI arrests.

“These projects are working, again if you look at decades when New Mexico was leading the nation in the number of DWIs per capita; we’re not No.1 anymore,” Jameson said.

Today KFOX14 spoke with people who haven’t heard about Project Home but think it’s a good idea for the safety of the community.

“I think it’s a good idea because a lot of the youngsters, they really don’t think before they drink but there’s a lot of things that could happen,” Caruzelda Clark said.

NMSU can also take advantage of a free taxi service offered to them called Crimson Cab.

All they have to do is show the driver their Pete’s pass in order to get a free ride home.

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