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New Mexico Attorney Cynthia Payne

New Mexico DWI FAQs

Based on our years of experience handling thousands of DWI cases, there are certain questions that are frequently asked by our clients and people seeking legal representation. Below are the answers to the most common questions we receive regarding DWI.

What Are the New Mexico Blood Alcohol Limits?

Drivers who are under 21 years old exceed the legal blood alcohol limit at .02 or higher. Drivers 21 years old and older are legally drunk with a blood alcohol level of .08 or greater. Commercial drivers violate DWI laws when they operate a vehicle with a blood alcohol level of .04 or higher.

What Is an Aggravated DWI/DUI?

A person is charged with aggravated DWI/DUI if:

  • Driver has a blood alcohol level of .16 or higher
  • Driver caused bodily injury to another person as a result of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  • Driver refuses to engage in chemical testing and the judge determines that the driver was under the influence of drugs or alcohol based on the evidence, in accordance with the Implied Consent Act

What Should I Do if I Get Arrested for a DWI?

Request to speak with an attorney before making a statement to the police. Any statements given to the police can be used against you in a court of law. Having legal representation is a right. Information given to the police without the advice of an attorney may be harmful to the outcome of the case.

What if I Refuse to Take a Chemical Test?

According to New Mexico’s Implied Consent Law, a person driving a vehicle within the state automatically consents to having their blood alcohol level tested in order to assess if they are driving while intoxicated. Not taking the test could result in being charged with aggravated DWI and having the driver’s license revoked for 1 year.

What Happens After I Get Arrested?

The case will be presented to criminal court and the New Mexico Motor Vehicle Department. If the driver enters a not guilty plea in the criminal case, evidence is gathered, a trial takes place, and the court either makes a ruling or the driver enters a plea agreement. Submit a request for an administrative hearing for the Motor Vehicle Department case if you want to prevent the driver’s license from being automatically revoked.

What Is an Ignition Interlock Device?

The ignition interlock device measures a person’s alcohol level and is installed in the driver’s vehicle. The driver must blow into the device before he can drive. If the alcohol level exceeds the limit set on the device, the vehicle won’t start. Drivers convicted of a DWI must use the device for at least 1 year.

What Are the Penalties for a DWI Conviction?

Penalties for DWI include rehabilitation, community service, and alcohol screenings. Other penalties are jail time, monetary fines, getting the license revoked and installation of the ignition interlock device in the car when the person is permitted to drive again. The terms of the punishment differ for each person depending on the set of facts for each case and the amount of prior offenses on the driver’s criminal record.

DWI Frequently Asked Questions

  • What happens if you leave the scene?
  • What is the cost of a DWI?

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