In 2005, New Mexico gained the attention of the nation by being the first state to pass legislation requiring the mandatory installation of an ignition interlock device (IID) for all DWI offenses. According to MADD, the state saw an almost immediate decline of 36 percent due to the passing of this legislation. Today, New Mexico has some of the toughest legislation on the books for individuals convicted of DWI or DUI offenses.
New Mexico DWI by the Numbers (based on 2012 statistics)
Looking at New Mexico’s DWI statistics, it is very clear that the state’s efforts to thwart drunk driving are paying off. With some of the toughest legislation on the books, citizens are being more careful and the state is seeing a significant downward trend in fatalities, especially where underage drinking and driving are concerned.
· 97 total fatalities related to DWI (11 underage)
· 44.7% 10-year decline with a 72.4% decline in underage fatalities
· 73.2% of fatalities involved a driver with a blood alcohol content of .15+
· 55.6% of fatal crashed involved repeat offenders with BAC of .15+
· 10,126 overall DWI arrests with 116 of them being underage drivers
New Mexico DWI First Offense Penalties
First, we should note that New Mexico is an implied consent state. While you do not have to take the chemical tests, refusing to do so will result in automatic fines and a one-year license suspension. The fine and suspension are in place regardless of what happens in the court case. Below is a snapshot of first-time DWI offense penalties and fines in New Mexico:
· Up to 90 days in jail
· Fines and penalties up to $500
· Mandatory ignition interlock device (IID) installation*
· License suspension up to one year
Hiring a New Mexico DWI Attorney for First Time Offense
As stated earlier, drinking and driving is not looked upon kindly by lawmakers. It would behoove anyone arrested to hire an attorney to fight the charges. With “wet reckless” not being an option, your future is definitely at stake. You will also need to take into consideration the progression of the fines for second and third offenses.
For instance, second time offenders may be required to spend up to 364 days in jail with a minimum 4-day sentence. Third time offenders have a minimum 30-day sentence and up to 364 days in jail. Your personal and professional future may be at risk, so fill out the Free DUI Arrest Analysis Form for more information and resources to find a New Mexico criminal DWI lawyer that can represent you in your case.
*installation of the IID device as well as maintenance fees are at the expense of the driver
Taryn J. White is a legal research specialist and DUI law news reporter. Her current accomplishments include helping those facing any driving under the influence arrest charges, get free online assistance in learning how to fight a DUI case for the best possible outcome.