It’s illegal to drive a vehicle in New Mexico with blood or breath alcohol content of .08% or higher. If you’re under the age of 21, the limit is even lower. Alcohol can impair your ability to drive at lower levels than this. But driving over this limit can have lifelong consequences.
DWI Penalties in New Mexico
Penalties for a DWI in New Mexico can include jail time, a fine, and mandatory DWI educational programs. You may get your driver’s license suspended for anywhere between 90 days to a year or more.
Every DWI offender is required to have an ignition interlock license and an ignition interlock device installed on the vehicle.
New Mexico law enforcement takes driving under the influence very seriously. After one officer stopped a woman who was swerving in the road, she fled the scene. The officer then arrested her 20 miles down the road.
The worst DWI consequences are when others are involved. One woman was recently sentenced to 10 years in jail when she hit and killed another driver while driving drunk. Her life and the lives of the other driver’s family will never be the same.
New Mexico DWI Rates
Even though driving under the influence can have catastrophic consequences, DWI rates in New Mexico are high. Zutobi, an online driver’s education organization, uses DUI fatality and arrest statistics to give each state a DUI severity score. They rank New Mexico in the top ten worst states, with 155 DUI arrests per 100,000 drivers.
In 2021, 37% of traffic fatalities in New Mexico involved some level of alcohol by at least one driver. (Source: NHTSA 2021 Traffic Safety Facts)
How to Avoid a DWI in New Mexico
Avoid getting a DWI by making sure not to drive if you’ve been drinking. Take steps to make sure you drink responsibly and don’t endanger yourself or others:
- Plan ahead. Pick a designated driver who won’t be drinking in your group. Or use a driving service or public transportation.
- Know how much you’re drinking. Different drinks can have vastly different levels of alcohol. Your body can only process the equivalent of about an ounce of liquor per hour. Pay attention to how much you’re consuming.
- Don’t allow your friends to drive drunk. High alcohol contents can impair your judgment. They may think they’re okay to drive. But keeping your friends off the road could save lives.
Future DWI Prevention
You can help keep intoxicated drivers off the road with the ENDWI campaign. If you suspect a drunk driver on the road, you can call the Drunk Busters Hotline (877-DWI-HALT). This immediately alerts law enforcement and helps keep our roads safer.
How We Can Help
If you’ve been injured or lost someone because of an intoxicated driver, we want to help. At Sanchez and Piñon, we sue drunk drivers so you get just compensation for your losses. You shouldn’t have to suffer because of someone else’s actions. Contact us today. We’re here to fight for you.