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 committed.
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 and fines.
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.