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14th DWI’s and Still Driving

You’ve got to wonder what is actually getting done up at the New Mexico legislature when stories like this keep hitting the headlines:

Joseph Robert Vigil is a hard-core drunken driver.

Laws that allowed the state to revoke his driver’s license and send him to prison as a habitual offender didn’t prevent the 48-year-old Santa Fe man from getting arrested again Sunday on a DWI charge.

Depending on which records you look at, Sunday’s arrest could be the 14th time since 1991 that he’s been nabbed, said Thomas Beretich, analyst for the DWI Resource Center in Albuquerque. And Beretich said records indicate that when Vigil drives drunk, he’s really drunk.

Vigil’s breath-alcohol content during his first DWI arrest, in 1991, was measured at .34 — nearly four times the legal limit. He blew a .33 in 2001 and a .35 in 2006, said Beretich, who obtained the figures from the center’s database.

Santa Fe County Sheriff Greg Solano said Monday that preliminary tests of Vigil’s blood-alcohol level after a deputy picked him up Sunday indicate it was about four times the limit. “He fits the profile of many repeat offenders in the eight- to 12-DWI range,” the sheriff said.

This man deserves a life sentence because it’s only a matter of time before he kills someone. Yet, our system allows him to be back on the road. What a mess.