DWI in New Mexico
DWI/DUI is taken very seriously in New Mexico. Strict DWI/DUI enforcement is intended to deter drunk driving. As such, the laws are very strictly enforced throughout New Mexico and the consequences of a DWI/DUI conviction can be severe. In fact, Albuquerque police go even further arresting and charging people for DWI even when they have not been driving.
Due to the strict enforcement of DWI/DUI laws, people arrested for a 1st time DWI first want to know whether they will be going to jail. The next question often relates to their driver’s license. Finally, they typically want or need to know the other penalties and fines associated with DWI/DUI in New Mexico.
What Happens To First Time DWI Offenders in New Mexico?
For a first time offender, the worst case outcome is generally sentencing to the First Offender Program. As part of the First Offender Program, the defendant’s sentencing is deferred for one year. The defendant is placed on supervised probation during this one year period. In addition, following conditions are imposed on the defendant as part of the First Offender Program:
- DWI School,
- Alcohol and Drug Abuse Screening,
- Counseling and Treatment if recommended following screening,
- Attendance of the Victim Impact Panel,
- Random drug and alcohol testing if deemed necessary by probation following screening,
- No consumption or possession of alcohol or illegal drugs,
- Installation of an ignition interlock device on the defendant’s vehicle for 1 year (this allows the defendant to continue to drive while on probation),
- Community service which is typically 24 hours,
- Payment of Court Costs, and
- Payment of probation costs (these are often waived by the Court).
This is the standard sentence for a simple first time DWI/DUI in New Mexico. This sentence is imposed whether or not the defendant enters a plea or loses at trial. Thus, many simple first DWI’s will go to trial since there is no difference in the penalties between a conviction on a plea versus conviction at trial.
The decision of whether or not to go to trial is made more difficult in an Aggravated DWI case. Conviction on an Aggravated DWI carries mandatory 48 hour jail time. Aggravated DWI is charged in cases where the driver’s breath alcohol score is .16 or higher, the driver refused the breath alcohol test, or there was an accident involving alcohol.
Because of the mandatory 48 jail time, many DWI defendants do not want to risk a conviction of Aggravated DWI at trial. The result is that many, if not most, Aggravated DWI cases plea to a simple first DWI prior to trial which allows the defendant to enter the First Offender Program.
So getting back to the opening, the question is whether a first time DWI defendant will go to jail, and whether he or she will be able to drive following conviction on a DWI. The answer to the first question is that it is very unlikely under the current state of New Mexico law that a first time DWI defendant will go to jail unless he or she is convicted on an Aggravated DWI. The answer to the second question is yes, the defendant will be allowed to drive with an interlock license.
You can be punished with the things below once you are proven to be a first offender for DWI:
Jail: You can be imprisoned for up to ninety days. Once your first offense is an aggravated case of DWI, a minimum of forty eight hours in jail is mandatory in addition to the other penalties.
License Suspension: Once your blood alcohol content or BAC is .08 percent or higher, you will automatically lose your license for ninety days if you are at least twenty one years old and older.
Fines and Charges: Up to a $500 for fines and about $200 in court charges.
DWI School: You may also be required to attend a first offender program also known as the DWI school together with an alcohol screening and counseling.
Probationary Conditions: First offenders are usually given certain probations and community service. They are required to attend victim impact panel screening on top of the DWI school that they are also required to attend.
Refusal to take the test: Once you refuse to take the blood and breath tests requested by the officer in charge of your case, you may lose your license for at least a year and you may not be hired for any type of work or given any other type of driving permit or license.
Insurance: Once you are charged with DWI, your insurance rate would also increase considerably and even that of your whole family. In fact, your insurance carrier might also drop you and force you to find a more expensive coverage to avoid lossed from their end. If you have to drive in order to get to work, your employers’ insurance may also be at risk and may cost much higher.
Under 21 DUI in New Mexico
Once your blood alcohol content reaches 0.02 percent or higher, and you are under twenty one years old, you will automatically lose your license for six months and you will also be faced with criminal penalties. If you are found guilty for your first conviction then you can then be fined for up to $500 exclusive of other court charges. You may also be sentenced to up to 90 days in jail and you may be revoked of your license for up to a year.
Get DUI Help: Contact a New Mexico DWI Attorney
Once you are charged with a DUI or drinking under the influence claim in New Mexico, there are two things that you can do:
First, you have to take the claim charged against you very seriously. Know for a fact that once you are convicted with such a claim in New Mexico, it will most likely have a great effect on your life. Not only in terms of your employment but also in terms of your future in general. You would find it ever more difficult to travel and live freely for your freedom and your future.
Second, when you are charged with a DUI in new Mexico, it would do you good to hire an experienced New Mexico DUI attorney who has great knowledge and background in DUI law.
Hire an experienced New Mexico DUI Attorney
It may be a great challenge to understand the New Mexico laws and court proceedings pertaining to DUI. That is why it would be best for you to hire a qualified New Mexico DUI attorney or lawyer from DUI.com who’s main practice is greatly concentrated on drunk driving defense. When you do, you will find that there can be great difference in the turn out of the charges put against you.
You will be offered an initial interview conducted by the New Mexico DUI lawyer that you will choose. No charge for the initial interview and everything that will be discussed will be confidential as well.
You can begin fighting for your right by hiring a New Mexico DWI Lawyer. Doing this would also give you an idea on how your case will turn out in the end.