New Mexico First Offense DWI

New Mexico First Offense DWI Laws Explained in Easy to Understand Simple Terms

In New Mexico, it is illegal to drive a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol. If you are caught driving a vehicle with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08 or higher, or if the courts can prove that your ability to drive was impaired by alcohol, you can be convicted of a DWI.

New Mexico has an implied consent law. This means that if you are asked to submit to a blood or breath alcohol test by law enforcement, you are required by law to do so. (You are not required by law to submit to a field sobriety test.) There are significant penalties for breaking the implied consent law.

If you have been arrested for a first offense DWI, or for refusing to submit to a test, the first thing you will want to do is consult an experienced New Mexico DWI lawyer. A DWI conviction will remain on your criminal record for 55 years, and will cost you thousands of dollars. While some people think that lawyers are “too expensive”, a DWI lawyer will likely save you money in the long run. And, you will want an expert on your side to help you through this.

New Mexico First Offense DWI Penalties

A first offense DWI in New Mexico carries two separate sets of penalties: administrative (MVD) and criminal.

When you are arrested for a first offense DWI, law enforcement will immediately take away your driver’s license and will then notify the MVD, and your driver’s license will be revoked for 90 days. This is the administrative revocation. If you want to protest this revocation, you will need to request an administrative hearing within 10 days of the day you were arrested.

Your request must be in writing and there is a $25 hearing fee. Your lawyer can help you with this. If you do request an administrative hearing, you are guaranteed one within 90 days and you cannot drive until then.

Then you will have a court date for the criminal side of things. If you are found guilty of a first offense DWI in court, additional criminal penalties could include:

  • $500 fine
  • 90 days in jail
  • Court costs
  • Alcohol treatment
  • DWI school
  • Ignition interlock requirement
  • Criminal license revocation of 1 year

Penalties can be more severe if your incident had any aggravating factors, such as: having a BAC of 0.16 or higher or causing bodily injury in an accident. The minimum jail time for an aggravating factor is 48 hours.

If you have a child in the car at the time of your arrest, you can be charged with child abuse. This can result in 18 months to 3 years in prison and a $5,000 fine.

New Mexico and Ignition Interlock

If your driver’s license has been revoked for a first offense DWI, you will be required, as a condition of probation, to drive only a vehicle equipped with an ignition interlock device for a period of 1 year. You will be responsible for the cost of installation, maintenance, service, and possibly even removal.

New Mexico SR22 Insurance

Many states require that DWI offenders carry SR22 insurance. However, at this time, New Mexico is not one of these states. However, if you relocated to New Mexico from another state you will still be required to meet the SR22 filing requirements of your home state with the New Mexico MVD.

Additional New Mexico DWI Resources