SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) - A young couple from Colorado who lost their baby in a crash with a repeat drunk driver is working with Governor Susana Martinez to get tougher DWI Laws in New Mexico.
Zach and Aileen Smith were driving through New Mexico when their lives changed forever and their baby's life was lost.
The crash forced Aileen Smith who was seven months pregnant to have an emergency C-Section. The baby lived for just one minute.
"We were driving home from our baby shower," said Zachary Smith the baby's father.
"I had my aunt and one of my cousins already there when I called my family and said we were in a huge crash," explained Aileen Smith the baby's mother.
That crash in June of 2012 changed the Smith's lives forever. They were passing through New Mexico from Colorado Springs to San Diego when police say Ramon Hernandez hit them on I-25 just east of Santa Fe.
Ramon is a four-time drunk driver.
"We learned that he was a repeat offender in between me waking up from surgery and our son being brought in," said Aileen Smith.
They named the baby Dimitri. He died one minute after birth.
Hernandez now faces vehicular homicide charges.
The family started an online petition and is teaming up with Governor Martinez to push for stricter DWI laws in the upcoming legislative session in January.
"There has to be fear that their sentences are going to be real, long and that there aren't going to be these road blocks," said New Mexico Governor Susanna Martinez.
She is preparing to ask for what she calls "Dimitri's Law" which would increase DWI penalties.
For example upon a fourth DWI conviction, a fourth degree felony, jail time would increase from a maximum of 18 month to 30 months. Sentences would get tougher from there.
The Governor is also pushing to seize offenders' vehicles until they've installed ignition interlocks, and to allow officers and technicians to testify through video conference instead of in person to cut down on case dismissals.
"It will allow us to get more convictions quicker," she said. "It will allow us to prevent more deaths."
The Smiths say something must be done soon.
"It's not something you get over," said Zachary Smith. "You never feel better about it. It just doesn't go away."
The Smiths would also like to see tougher penalties for those who lend their cars to convicted drunk drivers.
According to statistics from the Governor's office, 60-percent of all DWI fatalities in the state last year involved repeat drunk drivers.
Ramon Hernandez is an illegal immigrant who claims someone else was driving the car that crashed into the Smiths.
He's due to go to trial in January.
To find out more visit the family's Facebook page.
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