New Mexico prides itself on having some of the toughest drunk driving
laws on the books. In New Mexico, they refer to drunken driving charges
as DWI or driving while intoxicated. The legal definition of a DWI in
New Mexico is having enough alcohol in your system to register a .08 in
a blood alcohol content test (BAC). If you are under the age of 21 that
BAC restriction drops to .02.
For commercial vehicle drivers the BAC is .04 or higher. Once it has
been proven that a person was driving with those elevated BAC levels
then they will be facing serious penalties. The severity of the
penalties will depend on how many offenses the person has already
New Mexico DUI Penalties
Whether you've been convicted once, twice or three times for a DWI you
will be charged with a misdemeanor. The first conviction comes with
losing your license from anywhere between six months to one year. You
could also face up to 90 days in jail. A first time DWI conviction also
means the mandatory attendance of a state certified DWI school and
installing an ignition interlock device for up to one year.
A second DWI conviction increases the license revocation to two years,
the jail time goes up to 364 days with four days minimum. A judge can
also add a $1,000 fine. And the mandatory ignition interlock device
needs to be installed for two years. For a third DWI conviction, you
lose the privileges of having a license for three years, face up to 364
days behind bars with a mandatory 30 days in jail and the ignition
device installed for three years.
If you are convicted of a fourth DWI offense or higher, you've crossed
over into felony charges territory. This means up to 18 months in
prison with six months mandatory incarceration. Your license will be
taken away for your lifetime with the possibility of a five year
review. There's also a maximum $5,000 fine along with mandatory
attendance in DWI school. The subsequent conviction for DWI offenses
continues to be classified as felony crimes with increased jail time
New Mexico Implied Consent Law
New Mexico is one of the many states across the nation that has an
implied consent law attached to obtaining a driver's license. Implied
consent means that if you are stopped by any law enforcement official,
you must submit to a chemical, blood or urine test of your blood to
determine the blood alcohol content. If you refuse to submit you will
be charged with an aggravated DWI and have your driver's license
automatically revoked for one year.
New Mexico Additional DWI Laws
If convicted of a second DWI offense or more, you will be required to
participate in an inpatient substance abuse rehab program. That means
28 days of rehab, detoxing and counseling. A person who is arrested for
a DWI and is found to have a BAC of .16 or higher will be charged with
an aggravated DWI which comes with mandatory jail time.
If you are arrested while driving with an already revoked license, your
license can be revoked for an additional year and you can face up to
one year in jail with at least seven days of a mandatory sentence.