City beefs up DUI penalties

By Jean Verlich: CNJ news editor

Clovis City Commissioners adopted an ordinance at Thursday’s meeting toughening penalties for driving under the influence of liquor or drugs.

Drivers convicted of a second or third DUI offense in Clovis will face at least 28 days in an inpatient, residential or in-custody substance abuse program, at least 90 days outpatient treatment, and attendance in a court-approved drug program or other substance-abuse program.

Commissioners also heard from law enforcement officials about the Clovis Police Department’s new plan to fight graffiti.

Chief Bill Carey called cleaning up graffiti a community problem, and cited New Mexico state statutes that require anyone convicted of a graffiti violation to make restitution to property owners. Carey said there were 83 graffiti reports since January 2005.

Deputy Chief Dan Blair explained the department’s plans for handling graffiti involve a dedicated city cleanup crew, identification of graffiti, and a database with locations, and development of procedures to file civil suits for reimbursement.

In other business, commissioners:

• Tabled approval of an ordinance revising the makeup of the parks and recreation board to give the current board time to review it.
• Approved $572,500 in additional expenses for the 2006-2007 budget that included $300,000 for a new roof on the Clovis-Carver Public Library.
• Awarded a contract for $33,000 to Warren CAT to install an engine at the landfill water wagon in order to meet U.S. Environmental Protection Agency requirements. The water keeps dust down.
• Heard from Ken De Los Santos, the city emergency preparedness director, about public education efforts for preparedness regarding pandemic flu.
• Approved the addition of a staffing position to the CATS department, with Commissioner Randal Crowder opposing.