NM Governor backs seizing cars of DWI offenders

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) - Gov. Susana Martinez is backing legislation to allow authorities to seize vehicles of repeat drunken drivers.

Martinez joined with Republican and Democratic legislators at a news conference Wednesday in support of proposals to crack down on drunken driving.

A measure by Rep. Zach Cook, a Ruidoso Republican, requires drivers to surrender their vehicles upon a second arrest for drunken driving.

Also endorsed by Martinez was a bill by Rep. Tim Lewis, a Rio Rancho Republican, to increase penalties for repeat drunken driving offenders. A fourth conviction would carry prison time of 30 months rather than the current 18 months. Penalties would increase for fifth, sixth and seventh convictions.

For seven or more convictions, a person would face four years in prison rather than the current three years.