Santa Fe, NM- The first special session of 2021 began at noon in the Roundhouse. The session was called by the Governor following the adjournment of the regular 60-day session and the failure of recreational cannabis legalization, a high priority bill for the COVID-19 battered administration.
Representative Bill Rehm (Albuquerque) today announced the comprehensive ‘Recreational Marijuana Road Safety Plan’, a package of legislation aimed at improving public safety relating to DWI’s. The ‘Road Safety Plan’ centers around remedying and improving upon New Mexico DWI laws that have been limited following the Supreme Court’s Birchfield v North Dakota decision. In light of the high likelihood of cannabis legalization, Representative Rehm introduced the ‘Road Safety Plan’ to ensure that as the state moves forward, the decades of improvements in DWI prevention are not set aside.
The Road Safety Plan contains three legislative components that will provide New Mexicans with continued road safety protections as the state moves forward with cannabis legalization, in line with other states across the nation:
- DWI Blood Tests, will allow law enforcement to obtain a warrant to draw blood during a suspected DWI stop
- Virtual Expert Testimony, will allow virtual expert witness testimony from the blood sampling lab located in the metro area. This lab is the primary source for blood testing and unfortunately their technicians cannot travel to each local court to provide timely testimony on DWI.
- Drug Toxicity Levels, will address blood toxicity limits and provide guidance on testing for various drugs in a blood draw.
“The Recreational Marijuana Road Safety Plan is a comprehensive public safety measure that will address potential DWI problems as we move forward with cannabis legalization,” said Representative Bill Rehm (Albuquerque). “It’s commonsense that as we pass legalization that we also begin to proactively address areas of concern that we already know will be harmful to the public. I do not think that the Governor would have called us back if legalization was not going to be approved, and just as those proponents see legalization as an urgency, I too believe that passing concurrent public safety laws is also of the utmost importance as New Mexico is #2 in the nation for fatal traffic collisions.”
The ‘Recreational Marijuana Road Safety Plan’ does not have a bill number as of 5:00pm, however it is expected the Speaker will assign it to the Judiciary Committee this evening. The draft bill is attached to this release.