When you were stopped by a law enforcement officer in New Mexico, it is likely they were concerned that you were drinking and driving. Maybe you were weaving through highway traffic, or you were braking too hard on residential streets. Regardless, the moment you saw blue flashing lights behind you, you had no option but to pull over and submit to sobriety testing. Then, you were prompted to blow into the breathalyzer… but you refused.
Unfortunately, New Mexico is one of several states with “no refusal” laws when it comes to a DWI traffic stop. You agreed to the chemical testing when you applied for your license, and as soon as you refuse the breathalyzer, you have agreed to hand over your license. From there, you can no longer drive legally, since your refusal indicates you were drinking: especially since there aren’t a lot of sober drivers who would refuse a chemical test under the same circumstances.
Of course, if this is your first DWI, you will be given the chance to reinstate your license, once all court requirements have been fulfilled. New Mexico requires an ignition interlock on all DWI offenders’ vehicles, and that includes those with a “no refusal” violation. For those with more than one DWI or “no refusal” conviction, you will still have the chance to drive with an ignition interlock, but you will also have more requirements to qualify for the device.
Since the ignition interlock works in the same manner as a police breathalyzer, you will be confronted again with the same choice about blowing into the device. If you don’t, you’ll lose the ability to operate your car until you submit a sample and prove you are sober while driving, an interesting twist on the “no refusal” laws. Considering the consequences, not refusing a police breathalyzer is important, but perhaps the most important decision you could make is to simply remain sober when driving.