New Mexico Aggravated DWI: Easy to Get, Hard to Forget

New Mexico Aggravated DWINew Mexico has a serious DWI problem. That is why it has harsher penalties and lower maximum sentencing guidelines than most other states. This can especially be seen in the case of New Mexico aggravated DWI penalties. Generally speaking, aggravated DWI charges are based upon additional crimes that occur during the DWI incident. Some contributing factors to a New Mexico Aggravated DWI are the refusal to submit to a blood or breath test and accidents causing injuries. A high blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is on the list, too.

If you are pulled over and found to have a BAC of .16 percent, you will be charged with a New Mexico aggravated DWI. In addition to the 48 hours of mandatory jail time for a first offense DWI, your mandatory minimums will be raised. Aggravating circumstances will cause you to spend much more time in jail: 90 days for a first offense, second or third offense are both up to a year. For a felony, you are looking at 18 months to 3 years in jail, depending on the degree of your felony conviction.

Additionally, the mandatory minimums are as follows for a first-time DWI conviction (no aggravating circumstances):

  • Attend a victim impact panel and DWI school.
  • Alcohol and drug abuse screening; counseling and treatment, if recommended.
  • No consumption or possession of drugs or alcohol.
  • 24 hours of community service.
  • Court and probation costs.
  • One-year ignition interlock requirement.

If you are convicted of a New Mexico Aggravated DWI, you will face harsher penalties in addition to the ones just listed.

A New Mexico Aggravated DWI conviction is a lesson you will not forget. Even making this mistake once carries strict penalties with little chance for leniency. Judges do not look kindly on aggravated DWI offenders and will most likely give you the harshest penalties available, especially when the state is already faced with a high rate of drunk driving problems.

Driving After a New Mexico DWI is No Problem

New Mexico DWI drivingNew Mexico is one of 42 states that will revoke your license administratively as well as judicially. These are considered separate revocations; so one has no effect on the other. If you fail to meet the deadline for a court date request and have your license automatically suspended due to an administrative license revocation (ALR), that time will be separate from the revocation time you receive if actually convicted in a court of law of a New Mexico DWI.

New Mexico requires all drivers that are convicted of a New Mexico DWI to have an ignition interlock device installed, whether it’s your first offense or third. New Mexico takes drinking and driving seriously and has severe penalties for those convicted of a DWI, including fines, jail time, license revocation which becomes permanent on the fourth offense, and alcohol evaluation and treatment. This state will also revoke your license for failure submit to an alcohol test, and you can regain it by installing an ignition interlock device.

You must do the following things to legally regain your driving privileges after a New Mexico DWI conviction:

  • Make an appointment and have your ignition interlock device installed.
  • Keep the contract as proof of installation.
  • Sign and have notarized an Affidavit for ignition interlock license.
  • Go to any New Mexico State MVD field office to receive your interlock license.
  • Bring identification, proof of insurance, and the licensing fee and you’re good to go.
  • If you receive a lifetime revocation of your license, you may be able to regain some of your driving privileges with the use of an ignition interlock device. However, you will be subjected to a review every five years and can have your privileges revoked at any time. Don’t forget to go in for regular monitoring; it’s a condition of keeping your interlock license.

Oh No! New Mexico Ignition Interlock Violations!

new mexico ignition interlock violationWell, that was unexpected… or was it? You just blew into your New Mexico ignition interlock only to receive a failed test or interlock violation notification. You swear you weren’t drinking, or maybe that you thought enough time had passed since you finished off that beer. But there it is, blinking at you, and now you will have to blow a clean breath sample or face the consequences for your interlock violation.

A New Mexico Ignition Interlock test failure or violation can be caused by:

  • A BAC (blood alcohol concentration) sample above the pre-set limit.
  • Residual alcohol in the mouth from mouthwash or medications.
  • Other sugary foods, drinks, or other substances (gum, mints) in the mouth.
  • Trying to circumvent or tamper with the device.
  • Driving another vehicle that does not have an interlock installed.

New Mexico ignition interlock violations will cause additional consequences, like a longer time requirement with the device. In the case of multiple interlock violations, you could be removed from the program completely. If your device shows that you tried to start your vehicle with a high blood alcohol concentration (BAC) you could face other consequences like court costs, fines or even incarceration. You may also be charged with an additional DWI as a result of your violations.

Compliance with your New Mexico ignition interlock requirement is the only way to ensure you will have a trouble-free road to recovery after your DWI. The easiest way to get through the time required by the court is to never attempt to drive if you have been drinking. Instead, look at that time as your chance to renew your commitment to sober driving, and being a role model for those around you. New Mexico expects nothing but the best behavior from you so that you can move on with your life after a DWI.

What’s the Best Way to Manage a Second New Mexico DWI?

second new mexico dwiUsually a first-time New Mexico DWI results from a bad decision to drink and drive. When we make bad choices, we want to get the consequences over with as quickly as possible. When faced with the reality of that choice, we’ll probably be okay with the mandatory ignition interlock requirement and other penalties for a first-time New Mexico DWI. Once we are faced with a second offense, the consequences might incite some introspection into our relationship with alcohol – or that is what New Mexico hopes.

Consequences for a second New Mexico DWI include:

  • Losing your driver’s license for two years.
  • 96 hours to 364 days in jail.
  • $500 – $1000 in fines.
  • Alcohol and/or other substance abuse evaluation and possible treatment.
  • Community service.
  • Up to five years of probation.
  • Two-year ignition interlock requirement.

Not a lot of people get excited about ignition interlock requirements, but there are worse things that could happen after your second New Mexico DWI. In Santa Fe, your drunk driving conviction could result in the seizure or immobilization of your vehicle.  However, removing access to a vehicle can be difficult for a family that relies on it for transportation. Ignition interlock devices, on the other hand, allow a family the ability to resume its day-to-day activities, so that employment, school and medical considerations are less impacted. Plus, each time you start your vehicle, you are forced to think about why you have the device and make changes as a result.

There are so many reasons to stay sober when driving, with the biggest being the danger you spare others on the roads. The best way to manage your life with a second New Mexico DWI is to avoid the situation entirely. Have a plan for a safe ride home and you can steer clear of any drunk driving problems that may follow.

When is a New Mexico DWI Considered Child Abuse?

New Mexico DWI child abuseKids can’t choose who drives them around, and while we often hear stories of older children calling 911 or the police when an adult driver is intoxicated, those cases are likely the exception to the rule. For example, the latest averted New Mexico DWI tragedy explains why DWI child endangerment is such a concern for MADD and other organizations.

MADD has certain criteria it uses to rate each state for drunk driving prevention efforts, like all-offender ignition interlock requirements and DWI child endangerment laws. New Mexico DWI law has no provisions for child endangerment, which factored into the state’s low rating in 2016. But, the state does have the ability to charge a DWI driver with felony child abuse if a minor is present in the vehicle at the time of arrest.

Section 66-8-102(A) New Mexico Statutes Annotated clearly states: “It is unlawful for a person who is under the influence of intoxicating liquor to drive a vehicle within this state.” It’s also a crime for “a person knowingly, intentionally, or negligently, and without justifiable cause, (to cause or permit) a child to be placed in a situation that may endanger the child’s life or health.”

If a person is found guilty of felony child abuse, they will face at least three years in prison. If an injury to or death of a minor occurs, the minimum prison sentence is 18 years.

While technically New Mexico DWI law does not include protections for minors, the odds are that if you drink and drive with a child present, you’ll find yourself in much bigger legal problems, including felony child abuse charges. Not only will you face prison, but other measures may be taken to ensure the safety of those children, too. Your children, or those who are entrusted in your care, cannot tell you to drive sober, call a taxi or drive themselves. It is your responsibility to BE responsible when you’re driving, to set the example, and to get everyone home safely.

New Mexico Ignition Interlock… Checkpoint?

New Mexico ignition interlock checkpointWhile New Mexico ignition interlock law is tough, one of the biggest problems the state faces is the enforcement of those laws. Just because a court has ordered a DWI offender to install and maintain a New Mexico DWI, that doesn’t mean they’re following through. That does mean the streets aren’t as safe as they could be. New Mexico mandates an ignition interlock license and the installation of the device for anyone convicted of a DWI. The ignition interlock prevents the vehicle from starting if it registers a BAC greater than .025, thus preventing a person from driving intoxicated.

In April, New Mexico has pledged statewide saturation checkpoints in an effort to keep people from DWI driving. A saturation patrol is a police or military patrol tactic wherein a large number of officers are concentrated into a small geographic area. Saturation patrols are used for hot-spot crime reduction, DUI checkpoints, and other location-specific patrols. The other benefit? Saturation checkpoints often discover people with outstanding warrants, suspended licenses, and ignition interlock requirements.

If you have a New Mexico IID or if you question whether you’re okay to drive home after a few drinks, now is the time to step up and do the right thing, before you find yourself at a saturation checkpoint or worse. If convicted for DWI in New Mexico, you will be required to install an ignition interlock device on every vehicle you drive for a minimum period of one year. Additionally, if your license is revoked for violation of the New Mexico Implied Consent Act, you may apply for an interlock license.

If convicted, the court will order you to obtain an interlock license. This is a special driver’s license that prohibits you from driving a vehicle without an interlock device. If you have an interlock license on record and are pulled over by police in a non-interlock equipped vehicle, you will be arrested and charged with driving on a revoked driver’s license. You may also be in violation of your probation and face jail time.

New Mexico Ignition Interlock Indigent Fund

New Mexico ignition interlock indigent fundNew Mexico ignition interlock policy says that for anyone who is convicted of a DWI, there is an ignition interlock requirement of at least six months. That policy has been used as a model for many other states in the U.S., simplifying the process of getting interlocks into vehicles. Unfortunately, New Mexico also has a problem with offenders actually installing the devices, leaving too much wiggle room for further incidents. If money is a problem and you need a New Mexico ignition interlock device, the state has a program for you, too.

With any criminal conviction, there are always court costs and fines to pay. For a DWI, you also have DMV-related assessments to take care of. For many, all of those costs are unfathomable, but driving is necessary to keep a job or make it to court or other important meetings. If you cannot afford a New Mexico ignition interlock, then you can qualify for the New Mexico ignition interlock fund to cut costs.

Without a New Mexico ignition interlock device, it becomes much more difficult to maintain employment or even make it to DWI court. Either you have to rely on others for a ride to those appointments or take a risk by driving illegally. Driving illegally may seem like your only choice, but if you are caught, you could not only lose your access to an ignition interlock device, but you’ll have even more money, time and stress ahead of you.

With the New Mexico ignition interlock indigent fund, there is a larger chance for success in recovery from a DWI. We all make mistakes, and it is our actions after those mistakes that can make all the difference in the world. Money shouldn’t stop you from regaining your freedom after a DWI, and New Mexico is ready to help you get back to where you were before you even had to think about a DWI conviction.

No Alcohol for New Mexico Ignition Interlock Users?

no alcohol for New Mexico DWI drivers?With some of the toughest DWI laws in the U.S., it is surprising that New Mexico still has such a high rate of drunk drivers on the roads. Currently, ignition interlock devices are required for all New MexicoDWI offenders, but too many offenders see the devices as options, choosing instead to drive illegally and possibly intoxicated.

New Mexico DWI numbers are down, but lawmakers may have more in store for drunk drivers in the state.

An interlock license and requirement aren’t infallible, and determined DWI offenders can still find a way drive illegally, and sometimes while intoxicated. The newly proposed law would make it impossible for New Mexico DWI offenders to purchase alcohol when they carry an ignition interlock license. It may seem like an additional effort to target those who are already restricted to sober driving, but in most states (including New Mexico), enforcing ignition interlock requirements seems to be a challenge still. By removing access to alcohol, or the purchase of alcohol, there is less chance of someone buying a six pack and then heading out with the intention of driving home once that sixer is gone.

New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez has spent her time in office restricting DWI offender’s ability to continue to commit drunk driving crimes. She has long supported stronger ignition interlock laws and harsher penalties for DWI offenders across the state.

Many times a DWI is the result of a lapse of judgment, with a very humbled offender coming out on the other side. However, New Mexico also has a high rate of repeat DWI offenders – some with up to 10 or more drunk driving convictions. If a law can add to the challenges faced by those who cannot be trusted to make the right call after drinking, then the whole arsenal of New Mexico drunk driving laws and consequences can have a positive impact on everyone’s lives.

New Mexico Wrong Way DWI Breakdown

New Mexico DWI wrong wayIt isn’t often that a DWI is caught on camera before the person is already being pursued by law enforcement. However, this New Mexico DWI suspect was caught right in the act by police dash cams… going the wrong way.

Around 69 percent of wrong-way accidents are caused by drivers under the influence of alcohol. Three percent of all traffic fatalities are from wrong-way collisions.

The man admitted to drinking, but didn’t seem too concerned with his drinking and driving. It’s no wonder; his blood alcohol concentration (BAC) measured .19 percent, over twice the legal limit in Arizona. At .20 percent, it is common to have trouble standing or walking, or vomiting or blackouts may occur. Charged with one aggravated New Mexico DWI, the man faces additional jail time on top of fines, court costs and a mandatory ignition interlock requirement. Driving home was his first mistake, driving the wrong way was his second mistake, and lastly, driving while intoxicated down the wrong side of the interstate where law enforcement caught the whole thing on camera… was a total mistake.

On average, about 360 lives are lost each year in about 260 fatal wrong-way collisions – FARS Data 2004-2009

Fortunately, New Mexico requires ignition interlock devices for all DWI offenses in the state. Not all states take drunk driving prevention as seriously. Admittedly, New Mexico still has its work cut out, especially where enforcing those laws. That’s why Governor Martinez is consistently promoting new education and awareness efforts about the dangers of New Mexico DWIs, as well as advocating for stricter punishments for those drivers.

A New Mexico wrong way DWI is a wholly preventable incident, especially when a person knows they’ll be drinking. Before heading out for the night, you can avoid the confusion of which way to drive by letting someone else take your keys and get you home safely. There’s no better and safer way to enjoy an evening out on the town than with a plan in place before you head out for the night.

Call Out a New Mexico Drunk Driver with #DWI

New Mexico drunk driver #DWINew Mexico has tough DWI laws, including all-offender ignition interlock device (IID) requirements. Somehow, the laws aren’t enough get the message through to drivers – last year New Mexico’s rate of alcohol-related traffic fatalities increased. But the state is making efforts. One such effort shows promise and is literally within reach of anyone who has a mobile phone: #DWI

#DWI is the state’s answer to citizen participation in keeping drunk drivers off the roads. If someone is driving erratically, all you have to do is pull over to a safe place, dial #DWI on your phone, and give the operator information about the vehicle you saw. If you have a passenger, they can also call while you drive – just remember safety rules when it comes to using your mobile phone while driving and the safety precautions you need to take if you are driving near a suspected DWI driver.

New Mexico has increased its DWI prevention efforts over the years, including the #DWI program. The state also has a Twitter account that informs the public of a DWI offender’s court case, particularly if the judge was too lenient during sentencing.

The state’s ignition interlock program is one of the most effective in the country, too. The only problem with the program is that participation isn’t being enforced. Too many DWI offenders are just not installing an interlock and are driving illegally and possibly while intoxicated again.

Stopping a drunk driver can start with a simple phone call to alert authorities of the danger on the road. From there, we can all encourage judges to hand down the proper consequences for a DWI, and support more supervision of offenders who have current interlock requirements. Working together, we can make a difference and eliminate the possibility of any further DWI fatalities in New Mexico, and across the U.S.

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