Albuquerque Journal (Albuquerque, NM)

DWIs Can Get Lost In State System.

Byline: Daniel J. Chacon Journal Staff Writer

Early Check With MVD Affects One City Case

Lisa Kennicott thought it was bad enough when a car driven by an alleged drunken-driver collided with her Subaru from behind while she waited at a stop light in July.

Kennicott grew increasingly frustrated when she learned that Municipal Court in Santa Fe didn't have any record of the alleged drunken-driver being convicted of DWI in a separate incident only a month after the July accident.

The prior conviction slipped through the cracks. If convicted in Kennicott's accident, the previous conviction could contribute to a stiffer sentence for the other driver.

In this case, city prosecutor Art Michael said, the crack was created by the fact that Municipal Court requests an alleged offender's driving history from the state Motor Vehicle Division only once, at the beginning of the case. The record doesn't reflect pending cases, which often take months to adjudicate. …

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