Will I Be Required to Have to Get an Ignition Interlock for a DWI Charge in New Mexico?

Information on Ignition Interlock Device Laws in the Garden State of NM

The laws controlling drinking and driving, DWI charges, and the NM Ignition Interlock device requirements are the same in all cities and towns across the state of New Mexico. This means that whether individuals are arrested and charged with Driving Under the Influence (DUI) or Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) in Santa Fe, Taos, Albuquerque, Las Cruces, Roswell, or any other city, the rules and penalties are the same. Anyone found to be driving with a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) of 0.08 percent will be charged with DWI and if convicted face a number of penalties including possible jail time, a driver’s license suspension, monetary fines, and having to get and install an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) on any vehicle a convicted person drives in NM.

Ignition Interlock for a DWI Charge in New MexicoAlmost all states across the country and New Mexico have adopted the threshold of an 0.08 percent BAC as the standard for individuals charged with drinking and driving related crimes. This is because government research was performed to test the effects of alcohol on people’s ability to drive. Most individuals were unable to drive with a BAC of 0.05 percent, and all were unable to drive with a BAC of 0.08 percent—hence the adopted standard. Additionally, commercial drivers with BACs of 0.04 percent and minors (under 21) with BACs of 0.02 percent can also be charged. The best possible way of how to prevent a driver’s license suspension and having to get an Ignition Interlock installed for a DWI in NM, is having the arrest details examined online with us to find defense options in enough time early on in the case.

What Are the Penalties for Driving Under the Influence in New Mexico?

Those drivers charged and then convicted of DWI in the state of New Mexico face a variety of penalties, which also includes the Ignition Interlock device requirement after a conviction or guilty plea. These penalties are a means to discourage offenders and others from participating in drinking and driving behavior again. First time DWI offenders, or those who have never had a DWI or DUI conviction, face penalties including, but not limited to, the following 4 consequences:

  1. NM Driver’s License Suspension of Up to One Year
  2. Fines and Penalties of Up to $500
  3. Jail Sentence of Up to 90 Days
  4. DWI Ignition Interlock Requirement

Repeat or 2nd DWI offense drivers of drinking and driving related crimes face harsher penalties. New Mexico currently does not have a “lookback” period, which means any previous DWI or DUI convictions would count against an individual’s current conviction. Second time DWI offenders, or those with one DWI conviction on their record, face NM DWI penalties including, but not limited to, the following 4 penalties:

  1. NM Driver’s License Suspension of Two Years
  2. Fines and Penalties of $500 to $1,000
  3. Jail Sentence of 96 Hours to 364 Days
  4. Ignition Interlock Installation Requirement

Third time DWI offenders, or those with two DWI convictions on their criminal record, will face New Mexico penalties including, but not limited to, the following:

  1. Driver’s License Suspension Period of Three Years
  2. Fines and Penalties of $750 to $1,000
  3. Jail Sentence of 30 to 364 Days
  4. NM DWI Interlock Requirement of 2 Years or More

The state of New Mexico also outlines the punishments for offenders on their fourth and fifth DWI convictions – these individuals are often referred to as “habitual offenders.” These penalties could potentially include a lengthy jail sentence of up to two years, a lifetime driver’s license suspension, fines and penalties upwards of $5,000, and a lifetime Ignition Interlock device requirement.

What is an Ignition Interlock Device, and How Does It Work With New Mexico DWI Laws?

A DWI Ignition Interlock in NM is a mechanical device that works much in the same way as the Breathalyzer device used by law enforcement officers. This mechanical device is installed in a drinking and driving/DWI offender’s car, usually on the dashboard, and is a means to deter this individual from drinking and driving. Before the car can be started, offenders need to provide a breath sample into the device – should the sample given be below the pre-set blood alcohol content level, usually 0.02 percent, the vehicle starts and drives normally.

In situations where the breath sample given by a driver after a DWI arrest is above the pre-set BAC level, the vehicle is not able to start, and the event is logged in the device’s digital memory. Additionally, Ignition Interlock devices are also set to require random retesting once the car has started – this is meant to prevent another individual beside the offender from providing the breath sample. Should the sample given for the random retesting be above the pre-set BAC, an alarm sounds until the vehicle is turned off and the event logged.

When is Using an Ignition Interlock Device Required in the State of New Mexico?

The state of New Mexico has authorized the installation of an Ignition Interlock device for drivers in specific circumstances who have been charged and convicted of offenses related to alcohol and driving. Courts can allow the installation and use of an DWI Interlock as a means for offenders to have their driver’s license reinstated. The length of time for using the NM Ignition Interlock for specific offenders are as follows:

  • First time DWI offenders: One Year
  • Second time DWI offenders: Two Years
  • Third time DWI offenders: Three Years
  • Fourth time DWI offenders: Lifetime (reviewable every five years)

Who is Responsible for Paying for all the Costs of the Ignition Interlock Device in NM?

In New Mexico DWI cases where an Ignition Interlock device is authorized, offenders are more than likely held responsible for paying all the costs associated with installing and maintaining the device. Individuals who are authorized to use an IID should expect to pay up to $125 a month to lease the device as well as an additional $100 to have the device professionally installed. These figures are just rough estimates, however, and the cost of the installation and leasing of the DWI Interlock varies between the companies providing them.

What is the Process of Having to Get an Ignition Interlock Device Installed in New Mexico?

Once a convicted DWI driver in New Mexico have been ordered by the court to get an Ignition Interlock installed to have their driver’s license reinstated, they will have a deadline in which to have the device installed in their vehicle. NM DWI offenders need to contact a state approved Interlock provider – these providers can be found across the state of NM, and a full list of the Ignition Interlock device providers in the state can be found on the New Mexico Motor Vehicle Division website. It is important for offenders to ensure they lease their Interlock or multiple IIDs from a state approved provider within state guidelines.

Once the DWI Interlock device has been rented and leased, it needs to be professionally installed and calibrated in order to ensure it functions as intended. It is not uncommon that when this entire process is completed that offenders need to report back to the judge, the court, their probation officer, and/or the MVD to alert them the Ignition Interlock device has been acquired and installed. Often times, they need to provide a copy of the lease agreement as well as a copy of the receipt of installation. Once this has been approved, the usage period can begin, and offenders are allowed to drive again. To help prevent a NM license suspension and Interlock consequences for a DWI charge from occurring, once a New Mexico Ignition Interlock lawyer reviews a person’s own arrest details online with us, they can then be able discus with a driver any possible ways and solutions of how to avoid the requirement of having to get and install an Ignition Interlock device in:

[column col=”1/2″]Bernalillo County
Catron County
Chaves County
Cibola County
Colfax County
Curry County
De Baca County
Dona Ana County
Eddy County
Grant County
Guadalupe County
Harding County
Hidalgo County
Lea County
Lincoln County
Los Alamos County
Luna County
McKinley County
Mora County
Otero County
Quay County
Rio Arriba County
Roosevelt County
San Juan County
San Miguel County
Sandoval County
Santa Fe County
Sierra County
Socorro County
Taos County
Torrance County
Union County
Valencia County
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