The second component involved implementing evidence-based strategies. New Mexico put into action strategies recommended by the Community Preventive Services Task Force for reducing alcohol-impaired driving. Periods of increased DWI law enforcement were regularly scheduled, during which sobriety checkpoints were deployed around the state. A comprehensive media campaign was launched, warning drivers about this increased DWI law enforcement. The media campaign included TV ads, radio PSAs, billboards, and news reports. Sobriety checkpoints and supporting media activity continue to be priorities in New Mexico.
Between 2004-2005 and 2007-2008, New Mexico saw a 16 percent decrease in binge drinking intensity (the number of drinks consumed on the last binge drink occasion) in licensed premises such as bars and clubs, from 8.3 to 7.0 drinks per occasion. During this same time period, there was a 33 percent decrease in the prevalence of driving after binge drinking, from 8.7 percent to 5.9 percent. Ultimately, New Mexico saw a 39-percent decrease in their alcohol-impaired motor vehicle crash fatality rate between 2004 and 2008.2 The role of the New Mexico Department of Health and their CDC-funded alcohol epidemiologist in supporting this multi-agency effort have been featured by the CDC as part of their Vital Signs and Public Health Grand Round series.3
1 "Preventing Excessive Alcohol Use: What Public Health Can Do." CDC Public Health Grand Rounds. http://www.cdc.gov/about/grand-rounds/archives/2012/march2012.htm (accessed March 13, 2013).
2 Bouchery EE, Harwood HJ, Sacks JJ, et al (2011). Economic costs of excessive alcohol consumption in the United States, 2006. Am J Prev Med, 41(5):516–24.
3 "Drinking and Driving in the United States." CDC Vital Signs Town Hall Teleconference. http://www.cdc.gov/stltpublichealth/townhall/vitalsigns_20111011.html (accessed March 13, 2013).