New Mexico DWI Laws: FAQ

What are the penalties for DWI in New Mexico?
1st Offense:

  • Misdemeanor,
  • Up to 90 days in jail,
  • Up to a $500 fine, or both,
  • 6 months to 1 year license revocation (1 year if under 21),
  • Mandatory: DWI school, alcohol evaluation, ignition interlock for 1 year, community service, and
  • Possibly additional treatment.

2nd Offense:

  • Misdemeanor,
  • 2-year license revocation,
  • Up to 364 days jail, 96 hours mandatory,
  • Up to $1,000 fine, $500 mandatory,
  • Other mandatory penalties: alcohol evaluation, community service, treatment, ignition interlock for 2 years, and
  • Up to 5 years probation.

3rd Offense:

  • Misdemeanor,
  • 3-year license revocation,
  • Up to 364 days jail, mandatory 30 days,
  • Up to $1,000 fine, $750 mandatory,
  • Other mandatory penalties: alcohol evaluation, community service, treatment, ignition interlock for 3 years, and
  • Up to 5 years probation.

4th Offense:

  • 4th Degree Felony,
  • Lifetime license revocation with 5-year court review,
  • Up to 18 months prison, 6 months mandatory,
  • Up to $5,000 fine, and
  • Other mandatory penalties: alcohol evaluation, treatment, lifetime ignition interlock with 5-year court review.

5th Offense:

  • 4th Degree Felony,
  • Lifetime license revocation with 5-year court review,
  • Up to 2 years prison, 1 year mandatory,
  • Up to $5,000 fine, and
  • Other mandatory penalties: alcohol evaluation, treatment, lifetime ignition interlock with 5-year court review.

6th Offense:

  • 3rd Degree Felony,
  • Lifetime license revocation with 5-year court review,
  • Up to 30 months prison, 18 months mandatory,
  • Up to $5,000 fine, and
  • Other mandatory penalties: alcohol evaluation, treatment, lifetime ignition interlock with 5-year court review.

7th Offense:

  • 3rd Degree Felony,
  • Lifetime license revocation with 5-year court review,
  • Up to 3-year prison, 2-year mandatory,
  • Up to $5,000 fine, and
  • Other mandatory penalties: alcohol evaluation, treatment, lifetime ignition interlock with 5-year court review.

In addition to the penalties for DWI, If you are convicted of Aggravated DWI you will face the following MANDATORY additional penalties:

  • 1st offense, mandatory: additional 2 days jail.
  • 2nd offense, mandatory: additional 4 days jail.
  • 3rd offense, mandatory: additional 60 days jail.

What are the DWI penalties for a Minor in New Mexico?

  • Fine: Not to exceed fine for adults,
  • Up to 15 days in a local detention facility or up to 2 year commitment in a rehab facility,
  • License Revocation from 1 year to permanent revocation (depending on number of prior offenses), and
  • Probation under conditions and limitations at the court’s discretion.

What are the DWI penalties for a driver under 21 in New Mexico?

DWI Penalties for offenders age 18 to 20:

  • Fine: Up to $5,000, depending on the number of prior offenses,
  • Jail: Up to 3 years in prison, depending on the number of prior offenses,
  • License Revocation from 1 year to permanent, depending on priors,
  • Mandatory screening and ignition interlock,
  • Mandatory treatment for a subsequent offense,
  • Community service, &
  • Up to 5 years probation.

Should I agree to take a Chemical Test when stopped for DWI in New Mexico?

You can refuse to take a breath or blood test but this can have serious consequences with regard to your driver's license. The advantage of not taking the test is that it is harder for the State to prove that you were intoxicated at trial, especially if you have also refused the field tests. However, a refusal will likely result in the revocation of your driver's license for a year, even if you were not intoxicated at the time. If you have no previous convictions for DWI and have not been involved in a serious auto accident then you should probably agree to take the breath or blood test.

What happens if I drive with a DWI suspended license in New Mexico?
You will face the following penalties:

  • 1-year revocation added to current revocation period,
  • Up to one year in jail, 7 days mandatory,
  • Up to $1,000 fine; $300 mandatory, and
  • 30 days immobilization of vehicle driven by offender.

Can I get a limited license after a DWI in New Mexico?

In New Mexico you can receive a limited license if you are a 1st time DWI 1st offender, with a license revocation of 90 days (or six months if you are under 21) you should apply for a limited license immediately and receive it after the first 30 days of revocation. People with suspended or revoked licenses need to pay $45, have proof of current financial responsibility, and have proof of employment and/or school, with the hours necessary for operation of your vehicle, proof of alcohol counseling and proof of registration at a certified DWI school if it was a DWI revocation. People who are revoked for one year or more due to a DWI revocation are not permitted a limited license except under very specific new laws relating to the use of an "Intoxilock." 

What happens in a Criminal DWI case in New Mexico?

The criminal case is brought by the government and can result in jail, fines, probation and loss of license. The jail time, fines and other penalties vary depending on how many convictions you have and whether you are charged with aggravated DWI. Aggravated DWI may be charged if you refuse to take the chemical blood or breath test requested by the officer, have an alcohol level of .16 or more or cause an accident with injuries. You can be guilty of a DWI even if you had nothing to drink but had medication or narcotics.

What will happen if I do not complete court ordered DWI classes or community service in New Mexico?

If you do not perform any one part of the sentence you receive, the law requires the prosecuting attorney to issue a bench warrant for your arrest. If you missed a part for a good reason, then the Judge can allow you to make up a portion. Best thing to do is make a schedule you can keep to in the beginning. If you get a bench warrant, not only do you risk going to jail again but a $100.00 warrant fee is assessed so you end up paying more money.

The information on this page is meant to provide a general overview of the law. The laws in your state and/or city may deviate significantly from those described here. If you have specific questions related to your situation you should speak with a local attorney.

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