Santa Fe County DWI Planning Council
State Mandated (according to DFA LDWI Program guidelines)
Health and Human Services Division 


Will prepare a comprehensive plan that documents the extent of the County and City’s alcoholism problem, DWI resources and needs regarding DWI, alcoholism and alcohol or other drug abuse issues including:

  • prevention
  • screening
  • assessment
  • treatment
  • alternative sentencing programs

Upon approval of the plan by the BCC, the Plan will be submitted to the Department of Finance for approval and integration into the statewide alcoholism services plan.

There shall be at least nine members and include members from the local media, emergency medical services, community substance abuse treatment, public health, community traffic safety, law enforcement, courts/judicial, prosecutor/legal and schools. Other possible members include chief elected County and City officials, or their designees; an independent behavioral health service professional; a representative of the business community; a consumer of behavioral health services and representatives of such other stakeholder groups as determined by the BCC.

DWI Planning Council Members

Richard De Mella - Richard is a Juvenile Justice Planner with the City of Santa Fe. He has worked for ten years in law enforcement and saw firsthand the connection between substance abuse and criminal activity. He feels a comprehensive strategy can reduce a number of our social ills. Substance abuse and mental health issues need to be addressed across our community, state and nation to make our community a safer place. Richard has been a member of the council since 2011.

Tom Starke -Tom Starke recently retired from Los Alamos National Laboratory where he worked as a physicist and manager for 30 years. He earned his Ph.D. in physics from the University of California, San Diego. He is a member of the board of Impact DWI, a non-profit organization that produces the Victim Impact Panels for DWI offenders in Santa Fe County. Tom is also a member of the Santa Fe Magistrate Drug Court’s Resource Committee and supports the Drug Court Alumni Organization’s Twelve Step Program. As a citizen lobbyist he works tirelessly to improve DWI laws. He is especially focused on effective use of ignition interlocks to keep drinkers from driving. His passion and motivation to reduce drunken driving, alcoholism and the misery they cause started at an early age. He was only 8 years old when a drunk driver hit and severely injured him as he was riding his bicycle.

Leah Tafoya - Leah works as a Probation and Parole Officer with the New Mexico Corrections Department She has been in this position for over six years. As a Probation Officer, Leah wears many hats; she is a law enforcement officer, a social worker, a therapist, an interventionist, and a support system for those in need. Leah specializes in working with offenders that are considered ‘high risk/high need’ which includes but is not limited to: mental health offenders, substance abusers, and those that need more counseling, attention, and patience. She brings unique perspective to the DWI Planning Council because of her experience as a Probation & Parole Officer. She sees firsthand how alcohol and alcohol abuse causes pain and misery in life. This unique point of view has given Leah the drive to work with the DWI Planning Council to make Santa Fe a safer place by developing policies to help in the rehabilitation process of those that suffer from substance abuse.

John C. Mowen, Ph.D. - John retired to Santa Fe in 2011 after 33 years as a professor in the Spears School of Business at Oklahoma State University where he held the Noble Foundation Chair of Marketing Strategy. He served in the U.S. Army as a Ranger-qualified Signal Corps Officer, and received a Bronze Star for actions in Vietnam. After his military service John received his PhD from Arizona State University. He served as the research director for the Center for Criminal Justice at ASU, where he performed research studies of victim assistance and probation/parole programs. John is a Fellow and past-president of the international organization, the Society for Consumer Psychology. He and his colleagues have published over 90 refereed articles in the fields of managerial/consumer decision-making and personality. He has also published nine books: The Art of High-Stakes Decision Making (John Wiley), Judgment Calls: High Stakes Decisions in a Risky World (Simon & Schuster), The 3M Model of Motivation and Personality (Kluwer Academic Press) and six editions of his textbook, Consumer Behavior (Prentice-Hall). John has consulted with a variety of organizations. In particular, he has assisted organizations in developing strategic plans and in creating and executing marketing strategies. He has also served as an expert witness in civil trials for both plaintiffs and defendants. Active in his community, John was a chairman of the United Way and of the Chamber of Commerce in Stillwater, OK. John is also a digital artist and sculptor whose work has been sold in multiple galleries across the United States.

Loralee Freilich - Loralee has experienced the pain and tragedy that comes from DWI crashes first hand.  Three people close to her died in a short period of time at the hands of drunk drivers.  She has used her heartache as a strong motivator to make a change. Loralee worked as a Mothers Against Drunk Drivers (MADD) court monitor in Magistrate Court.  She has attended and observed all phases of DWI offenders' punitive programs. While attending these programs she interacted with participants and learned that most did not have a high school diploma or GED, had dead-end jobs or no jobs at all and some were toting plastic baby carriers.  Her new found knowledge was the impetus to start lobbying the courts and the state legislature to add education mandates to sentencing of DWI offenders. Her hope is to stop the revolving jail door and help offenders build a more productive life with education. She has also created a bright green and purple 3 inch sticker which reads: I'M SMART!  I WON'T DRINK AND DRIVE! The sticker is intended to be stuck to the center of the steering wheel or on the dashboard to empower young people, especially, to make the smart choice to not drink and drive. During high school assembly programs she has presented these to the audiences asking them to remember anyone they've known that was injured or killed by a DWI driver. Loralee Freilich's brother, Dr. Eugene Valins, was a medical doctor and psychiatrist who was concerned with the disease of alcoholism and wrote his thesis, Some Current Concepts of the Etiology of Alcoholism because of his interest.  His work had a great impact on Loralee’s desire to put an end to the misery that drinking and driving brings to our community.

Erica Abeyta - Erica is a Class of 2013 graduate of Santa Fe Community College. Currently she works in the Substance Abuse Prevention Program through the Office of Student Development. Having been affected by substance abuse, Erica has a passion for promoting a greater awareness to her community. She continues to work toward conducting a Social Norms Correction Campaign; to significantly reduce binge drinking, its consequences, and promote safe and/or moderate AOD behaviors, by reducing the degree of student misperceptions of alcohol use. As a member of the Santa Fe Prevention Alliance since 2013 she works on implementing environmental strategies to change community behaviors in regards to underage drinking and the abuse of prescription and other drugs. Erica is dedicated to the continued education, prevention and policies to change community norms around alcohol, binge drinking and the amount of fatalities and crashes due to DWI in Santa Fe County.

DWI Planning Council Staff Liaison

Chanelle Delgado
Youth Services Admin Program Manager

2024 DWI Planning Council Meeting Documents

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